Mike Phelan feels Norwich City have made progress in training
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City's most recent signing, Mike Phelan, believes the Canaries have a Premier League squad.
Phelan has been at Carrow Road for just a fortnight, having been appointed as a first-team coach.
But the former Manchester United assistant manager likes what he sees and insists that while City are desperately trying to emerge from a poor run of form, the signs are good.
In the two games since Phelan's return to the club he served as a player, City lost at home to Reading then, with a full week of his presence on the training field, won at Wigan.
'Now we've won a game, it's great,' Phelan said in an interview with the International Business Times.
'Expectations are high here, they want to get back in the Premier League as quickly as possible.
'Working under Neil (Adams) is fine, I'm just coming in and applying a little bit of experience within the coaching department. We're making a bit of progress.
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'It's a Premier League squad, it needs to adjust to Championship football, but the qualities are there. With this squad, we're more than capable of being extremely competitive.'
Phelan will be inextricably lined with the glory years at Old Trafford alongside Sir Alex Ferguson and his opinion on all things Manchester United will be readily sought.
New boss Louis Van Gaal has guided United to five wins in a row and third place in the Premier League, but his reign has been highlighted by a succession of injuries – more than 40.
And Phelan believes the Dutchman's new approach to fitness is the reason.
'What's happened is a continuation of the same players getting injured all the time, so you have to look to the reasons why,' he said.
'I think Manchester United changed their thoughts on the fitness regime.
'Tony Strudwick, who was operating as head of sports science, was involved day to day with the first team. He understood the ins and outs of how to keep players fit, how to keep them ready for competition. Then suddenly they moved him sideways and did something completely different. That may have had an effect. That one area has changed.
'They've brought in new people with a different way of doing things. The intensity of training may be one thing – it may be too intense, or not intense enough – but obviously slight changes have been made with the present way of doing things.
'I would have thought (the squad) is big enough at Manchester United, because they can go out and get players in, but obviously they keep breaking down and they don't seem to be getting any better. They seem to get one back and lose another two.'