Nathan Redmond admits his progress depended on leaving Norwich City

Nathan Redmond reflects on a missed chance during his time at Norwich City. Picture by Paul Chestert

Nathan Redmond reflects on a missed chance during his time at Norwich City. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Nathan Redmond has revealed how tough he found last season – and how he had to leave Norwich City for the sake of his career.

The 22-year-old ended his three-year Carrow Road stay in June, with an £11m return to the Premier League by joining Southampton.

City's top-flight relegation sparked the move, although with only one more season left on his original deal, Redmond may not have put pen to paper on a new contract had Norwich lingered longer in the Premier League.

'For me to progress, I had to leave and come here,' said Redmond of his move to St Mary's.

'Last year was very tough. Being at Norwich, a lot of people tend to like the club, but going forward... It happened the season before as well. We had a massive chunk where we didn't win for 10 or 12 games, and then the pressure starts to build.

'As a player like myself, being on the back foot for near enough 70pc of the game is tough and it's tough to carve out chances.

'But coming from that to here and being in a team that has high possession of the ball is a good feeling. You know that we're going to have a lot of the ball.

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'At the same time I now know that when I do get it I have to make something happen.

'Because we weren't having a lot of the ball at Norwich, when I did get it, nine times out of 10 I had to try to make something happen. There was a lot of pressure because of the way we came up the year before through the play-offs, and the momentum we had.

'We carried that momentum into the start of the season, we gained a couple of wins, then, after an international break, we played Newcastle on TV. They had six chances against us and scored all six. We had a blip after that and it was tough to get back into it. A lot of teams around us we should have beaten.

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'It was a stage I've gone through and has made me a better player in some ways.'

Redmond's development now is focused on his conversion from the winger mostly seen at City, into the striker Saints manager Claude Puel wants to work with – one that has one goal to his name in three Premier League appearances so far for Southampton.

'I wouldn't say I'm an out-and-out striker – as the manager said before, I've played predominately on the wing,' added Redmond.

'I remember coming through at Birmingham. Chris Hughton said to me if you can play in three or four positions you give the manager more options to pick you, whether up front or left and right.

'I've played number 10 here and there, but on the left and right throughout my career, and I'm just learning to play up front and enjoy the task at the moment. It's started well and hopefully I can keep learning and scoring goals.

'At Birmingham I played on the right, then Chris Hughton took me to Norwich and played me on the left and at number 10 every now and then. He encouraged me to adapt myself to other positions.

'You learn more at the training ground and then implement what you've learned in the games. I guess as a striker you're judged on goals mainly, and if I'm playing up front for most of the year that will be my target.'

• Follow Michael Bailey on Twitter @michaeljbailey and Facebook @mbjourno