Jos Hooiveld confident he can prove his top-level ability with Norwich City
- Credit: PA
Loan signing Jos Hooiveld knows he may have to be patient for his chance at Norwich City but is sure he has the ability to shine in the Championship once again.
The 31-year-old Dutchman played 41 games and scored eight goals the last time he played in the Championship, helping Southampton to automatic promotion to the Premier League.
Hooiveld (pictured) then made 28 appearances as the Saints avoided relegation and managed a 14th-placed finish in the Premier League in the 2012/13 season.
Yet last season the emergence of Croatian ace Dejan Lovren – who has since joined Liverpool for £20million – saw the 6ft 4ins centre-back limited to just eight appearances, only three of which were in the league.
Saints fans were full of praise for Hooiveld on social media when he joined City on a season-long loan deal on transfer deadline day though, not forgetting the role he had played in getting them back to the top tier.
'I think it was with ups and downs,' Hooiveld said of his Premier League performances. 'I think the same with Southampton in the beginning if you see how we played in the first season when we came up, we had a few very good games but also had a few very poor games and I was no different to that.
'We didn't have much Premier League experience but we got the hang of it and especially the second half of the season, when we beat Manchester City, we beat Chelsea, we beat Liverpool at home, so I got up to speed as well and played in those games, so that was nice.
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'That was a progressive year and the year after that I didn't play so much but that was also because we brought a few new ones in who did excellent.
'I think everyone could agree with that if you see the likes of Dejan Lovren where he is now, so you can't really say much can you.'
The former Celtic defender said he still found it difficult to leave the south coast club, despite that lack of playing time, because of his rapport with the club's supporters.
'I really enjoyed it there and I felt really appreciated and that for me is a really big deal,' he continued. 'I think for everybody in life that is important, if you feel appreciated in what you do and what you are working hard for and that felt really good for all the time I've been there.'
Now Hooiveld has to focus his attentions on success at Carrow Road though, with his contract up with Southampton at the end of the season and a new deal with the big-spending club looking unlikely.
'It's going to be tough (to get into the team), the boys the last four games are unbeaten and 10 points out of five games is not a bad start, so it's not going to be easy,' he added.