Ivo Pinto is feeling the love of the Norwich City fans

Ivo Pinto has nailed down a starting spot in Norwich City's defence. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focu

Ivo Pinto has nailed down a starting spot in Norwich City's defence. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Ivo Pinto admits he is still blown away by Norwich City's support.

The Portuguese defender has emerged as a firm fans' favourite, which was underlined earlier this week when a City supporting family named their new born baby after the full-back.

The former Dinamo Zagreb stalwart has played in Croatia, Romania and his homeland but ranks the bond he has with the Carrow Road faithful among the strongest of his career.

'The fans have been amazing to me, not just me, but since I arrived in Norwich the team,' he said. 'It is not the first time that has happened to me. I remember someone named their cat after me. I keep talking about the game against Watford, just after we were relegated, and the reaction of the fans. When you go to play Fulham on a Tuesday night and you see our massive support it is amazing. I can say this is one of the best clubs I have been at. The atmosphere they create in our stadium is beautiful. You know when you make a good pass and you hear the cheers, you feel good. They really have our back and we are playing not just as 11, but 12.'

City target a sixth consecutive Championship home win on Saturday against Preston and Pinto feels that unity is going to be vital over the long haul.

'We have a great squad and our objective is to go the Premier League and we are doing it well,' he said. 'If we keep evolving game by game I think we have everything in front of us. Of course Newcastle will be one of the teams to fight with us. I think we have a fantastic team.

'We don't just have 11 but 25, 26 players. If you don't do your job you can expect the man behind you to come in. You have to work even harder to keep your shirt. You have to deserve to wear the shirt. It is one of the things that make us so good.'

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Pinto's compatriot, Nelson Oliveira, has added to that level of competition following his summer signing but the Portuguese international striker must bide his time behind Cameron Jerome.

'He has settled in very well,' said Pinto. 'We are playing good so it is hard for a player who did not make the pre-season with us. He needs more time to get into the team but he is a fantastic player. He is a little bit different to Cameron. Nelson can link the game and take the ball in well and he is very good technically and he is a good finisher as well. I think we can expect very good things from him.'