David Fox keeping his Premier League focus for Norwich City
They may be closer to the Premier League's top four than the relegation zone, but David Fox admitted it remains all about the gap below – for the time being at least.
The Canaries headed to Swansea City Saturday afternoon 12 points clear of Bolton in 18th – who left Carrow Road empty handed seven days ago – and 11 points behind Chelsea in the fourth and final Champions League spot.
But while some City fans dare to look beyond a 17th place finish come May, City midfielder Fox will keep such thoughts for another day.
He said: 'You're still looking over your shoulder. Someone the other day said we were nearer the Champions League places than the relegation zone, but I still don't look at it like that.
'We are always looking over our shoulder and once we get to that 40 points mark then you can look to see how far you can push on in the league.
You may also want to watch:
'But things can turn around very dramatically. We have said that this week. A result like Saturday, you don't want to put it to waste and go and lose your next five or six games.
'We are under no illusions that staying in the Premier League is still our main objective, it's absolutely huge for the club and that's what were going to try and do.'
- 1 'Too close to home': Neighbours' shock as body found at Mousehold Heath
- 2 Which? warning to avoid sun cream brand for children
- 3 Poultry company owner says food industry is at 'crisis point'
- 4 Chicken restaurant closes 'due to unforeseen circumstances'
- 5 Lifeboat crew rescues three girls out to sea on lilos
- 6 Noise investigation launched after works leave houses 'tremoring'
- 7 What are the top 10 new shops opening in Norwich?
- 8 New beauty salon and massage rooms open at country club
- 9 'Like an invasion' - locals speak out over five-day festival
- 10 'Cold and desolate' - Anne Robinson's Countdown jibe at Norfolk
Regardless of Saturday's result, the endeavours of City boss Paul Lambert and his Swansea counterpart Brendan Rodgers over the last 12 months have been something special – feats that would be fittingly marked by survival at the end of their first seasons back in the top flight.
'Two of the best managers this season, without a shadow of a doubt,' said Fox. 'They have both done brilliantly for the clubs since they have come in.
'I think Brendan got his team promoted in his first season and the gaffer here has done it two seasons in a row – so for both teams to be sat ninth and 10th in the league before Saturday speaks volumes of what they have been doing as manager.
'I think they have both got very similar ethics. They like football to be played in the right way and it just shows what can be achieved when you try and do that.'
Norwich were dominant in their 3-1 win over the Swans at Carrow Road in October – although the Welsh side did likewise in their 3-0 win at the Liberty Stadium in April as from both sides pushed from automatic promotion from the Championship.
The Canaries ultimately won that battle, and for all the talk of Swansea's much admired passing philosophy Fox expects Norwich's hosts to be well aware of their visitors' own threats from the game at Carrow Road.
'I think their away form has not been very good but they still play the same way and they still have the same outlook on their games, so we'll look back at what we did in the home game and see how we coped with them there,' he said.
'We are talking a lot about Swansea but I'm sure they will be worried about our threats as well, because we have got a lot of attacking options going forward.
'We definitely want to put right what happened at their place last year but we also know that we've beaten them once already this season and we beat them at home last season, so it seems to be on home form that tends to win these games and we will try to change that.
'I think you've got to respect the way they use the ball and understand that they'll probably have the lion's share of it, but it's what we do when we have it and what we do when they've got it to try and stop them.
'We have worked on a few things in the week and hopefully if we come out and have the right attitude, get amongst them and try to disrupt their passing play and get ours going ourselves, they we can give them a good game.'
Fox is arguably one of the more cultured members of Lambert's squad – not that he thinks it will necessarily help him out at the Liberty this weekend, if selected.
'If they've got the ball all the time then it probably doesn't suit me too well, but if we can get hold of the ball ourselves and knock it around like we can do, then I'm sure it will suit us,' he added.
'They are a very good team on the ball so we have to make sure we stop them, but on the other foot we have to keep the ball when we get it . If we keep turning it over to them then it could be a very long afternoon for us.
'Would I want to play for them? I'm all right where I am thanks! Their style of play is very good, it's a great way to play and they have really embraced it.
'They have got a great philosophy on how they do things and that's their way of going about things. There are different ways of doing things and we are very happy and very confident with the way things have gone so far here.'