Hanley ready to lead City into battle as intensity increases
Archant Norfolk 2018
The intensity has increased on the Colney training pitches this week as Norwich City prepare for kick-off at Birmingham.
That’s according to new captain Grant Hanley, who has also spoken about the ‘huge honour’ of being appointed skipper as head coach Daniel Farke prepares his side for their opening-day fixture at St Andrew’s.
“The boss said at the start of the week: ‘That’s pre-season finished now and our focus is Birmingham’,” the Scot said ahead of Saturday’s clash with the Blues.
“It’s only natural that the intensity has gone up. You’ll see that wherever you go. The lads know that there might be a chance to squeeze into the starting XI if they train well this week. The competition is healthy and it only pushes the lads on even more.”
The Scotland international centre-back will lead the Canaries out at Birmingham, as Farke looks to improve on a 14th-place finish from his first Championship season in charge, with a new-look squad including Tim Krul, Jordan Rhodes and Teemu Pukki.
“It’s a huge honour,” Hanley said of the captaincy, having previously worn the armband during his time at Blackburn. “It’s something that I’ve done before earlier on in my career but to be named captain at a club like this – I’m over the moon.”
Speaking to City’s website, he continued: “I’m quite vocal. I’m not the type of captain who’s going to drag the boys through by scoring goals. But I like to organise the boys and be vocal like that. It’s not going to change me too much on the pitch.
“I think if you let it change you, it can put a lot more pressure on you. I think I’ll just stay the same as I was but I know I’ll have that bit of added responsibility on my shoulders.”
The mood at St Andrew’s is set to be one of uncertainty for the hosts however, due to a transfer embargo after a breach of Financial Fair Play rules.
So far that has meant the only new signing, Danish left-back Kristian Pedersen, may not even be eligible to play. However, director Edward Cheng gave manager Garry Monk hope on that front yesterday – with young Arsenal midfielder Jay Dasilva also touted with a loan move.
“Finally, positive news we have been working hard towards is coming,” Cheng posted on Twitter.
“It is why we always Keep Right On. Can’t wait for the new season.”