Fox is living dream after epic journey

David Fox is happy to be living the Premier League dream – and admits he appreciates it more because it took so long to get there.

The 27-year-old midfielder worked his way through the youth set-up at Manchester United but never made a breakthrough into the first team – meaning he had to wait almost six years before making his top flight bow with Norwich City earlier this month.

And the fact Fox has had to do things the hard way, being both in and out of favour at Blackpool and Colchester since leaving Old Trafford, will not be quickly forgotten as the Canaries make the most of their Premier League return – which takes in Chelsea at Stamford Bridge tomorrow (3pm).

'When you are playing for Colchester reserves, playing in the Premier League seems a million miles away,' said Fox. 'It is funny how it has come about and it has taken me longer than perhaps I would have hoped.

'I think you appreciate it more when you have had those times and I am definitely not the only one in the squad. You speak to anyone in the dressing room and they all have unbelievable stories of how they have got to the Premier League. All of us are trying to make the most of it and appreciate it.

'I'll always be grateful to the manager. He has given me a chance twice in my career now. I wasn't getting a game at Blackpool and he took me and then when I wasn't getting a game at Colchester he brought me here.

'He had faith in me and I try and pay that back every day.'

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Fox will be hoping for a return to Premier League action at Stamford Bridge after missing the 1-1 draw with Stoke on Sunday – although manager Paul Lambert's XI for Chelsea could well be swayed by the rather embarrassing 4-0 Carling Cup drubbing by League One side MK Dons at Carrow Road on Tuesday night, in which Fox started.

If the midfielder is involved against Andrea Villas-Boas' daunting outfit, Fox still believes both he – at the base of a midfield diamond – and City can see plenty of the ball.

'A lot of the lads look to me to get the ball so that position enables me to get on the ball as much as I can; I love the responsibility,' said Fox.

'The manager tells me all the time because he played that role or a similar one. I know if I can get on the ball and give it to the likes of Wes (Hoolahan), Holty (Grant Holt) and Surs (Andrew Surman) I know we're a far better team.

'In certain aspects you might get more time on the ball in the Premier League. But as soon as you take one, two, three touches then someone is on you.

'If we can shift the ball quickly like we did at certain times at Wigan then it doesn't matter who they are, teams will not get near us because the ball is moving that quick.'

It took Fox only 30 seconds of Premier League action to pick up his first yellow card, at Wigan on the opening day.

'Slightly embarrassed by that one,' admitted the midfielder. 'I shouldn't perhaps have gone to ground as quickly as I did. I thought the ball was there to be won and I also thought I got a bit of it.

'A couple of friendly games against foreign opposition got us a little insight in the sense the referees will give a free-kick straight away just because they don't want any controversy themselves.

'There are a lot more free kicks and stuff like that – but we will get used to it.'