Drop fear will push us - Fox
Norwich City's approach may have been fearless this season, but David Fox admits the threat of a swift Premier League exit has become their driving force.
Last season it was Fox's former club Blackpool bouncing through the early exchanges until their campaign floundered – eventually ending in final-day relegation at Manchester United, another of Fox's old haunts.
Since then, the Tangerines' remoulded squad has taken its time adjusting to life back in the Championship – at the same time bidding to make an immediate top-flight return.
City fans know first-hand the hangover that can come with Premier League relegation, given the experience of 2005 and beyond – and Fox admits the situation remains the same for any newly promoted club.
'This division is fantastic and you want to stay in it,' he told the Blackpool Gazette. 'I'm sure that if we go back down it would be massively difficult because the Premier League is where everybody wants to play. You kind of never expect to get here, and when you do you don't want to give it up.
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'The disappointment of going down would be massive and is something that is driving everyone on. You have to try to carry the momentum from last season.
'That's what Blackpool did last year, and it's what all the promoted teams are doing this season. It is important to keep that feelgood factor around the place for as long as possible.'
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Most of the Canaries' current crop had only played in the Championship or League One before this season – a fact that saw a seemingly tight City earn an opening-day draw with Wigan, and that continues to drive on Paul Lambert's players.
'I was a bit nervous before that game (at Wigan), but I think a lot of the boys were,' added Fox, a 2010 five-figure summer signing from Colchester United.
'No one in the team had played in the top flight before and I don't think we played too great. But as soon as we got that one out of the way we relaxed and we've done well.
'I've loved every minute – the coverage, watching your game on Match of the Day... and fortunately I haven't got any serious stick off Alan Hansen yet.
'I suppose I've made a point to a few people. It's nice that certain people at clubs where I have played can look at Premier League games and see I'm playing in them.
'It does feel strange, when the majority of your career has been played in League One and the Championship. So it is satisfying to get to the top flight because it is never nice when you are not wanted by clubs.'
One of those clubs being Manchester United, where Fox worked his way through the ranks as a trainee – and returned in City's unfortunate 2-0 defeat at the start of October.
'I'd waited a long time to play Manchester United and it was brilliant,' said Fox.
'To play there in the Premier League, not just a cup game, was very special. That's the most satisfying thing – to be there on merit in a Premier League game.
'A lot of lads at Norwich have dragged themselves up from the lower leagues or non-league, so it is unbelievable to go to places like Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge or Anfield for a league game.
'Unfortunately, I didn't actually see Sir Alex (after the game at United) but I spoke to Ren� Meulensteen, who is first-team coach. He was the reserve team manager when I was there, so I had a word with him. Then there was the kitman and physios, who I hadn't seen for a while.'
Fox, like everyone in this part of the world, hopes the Canaries turn their promising start into Premier League survival – while having a second wish on his May list.
'I still look out for Blackpool's results,' said Fox, who made 108 appearances and scored seven goals in three seasons at Bloomfield Road.
'I hope they get promotion again – I don't see why they can't. It does seem a while ago that I was there and I've not been back to play a game – next year in the Prem would be nice.'