Naughton knows he must battle for his place

Norwich City new boy Kyle Naughton is confident competition for places will only spur the Canaries to even greater heights.

The Tottenham loanee made his second pre-season appearance in the 3-0 friendly win at Coventry in a less accustomed left-back role for the final half hour. Paul Lambert has drafted the 22-year-old in to ease some of the burden on ever-present Scotland international Russell Martin, who excelled on the opposite flank during City's promotion success.

Naughton knows he has a fight on his hands and believes no-one is guaranteed a starting spot ahead of the Premier League curtain raiser at Wigan on August 13.

'Yeah, definitely but that is the good thing because I think we can keep each other going,' he said.

'If it's not going for you, you have someone pushing behind you. It will be a battle, but not just for me. The lads up front will have to battle, those in midfield, everyone has someone pushing them on.


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'I wouldn't expect to come here and just be picked to start. I prefer right-back but I have played left-back for other teams as well so I can't see that being a problem if I do have to play there. You have to assume everyone is starting from scratch and whoever is performing will get the shirt. I think everyone is fighting against each other. I'm not only trying to impress the manager, but it's for yourself. You want to push yourself to be the best – not just to do it for myself but the fans. I want to keep learning.'

First impressions clearly count and Naughton is delighted to discover what he already suspected after featuring for Leicester against the Canaries last season.

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'I've settled in really quickly to be fair,' he said. 'There are a lot of good lads here and the staff have made me feel very welcome. If the team spirit is high, then it isn't that difficult if you are coming into it and everyone has got a buzz. It's something you pick up straight away. You've already got the feel about what it's all about.

'Norwich have got good players, a good manager and the most important thing of all they are in the Premier League. I've been very impressed. There is a lot of quality but I knew that from playing against them last season for Leicester. I knew what I was coming to and it has been every bit as good as I expected in training.'

Naughton's displays at the Walkers earned him a second consecutive selection for the Championship team-of-the-year. The England U21 international admitted the time was right to try his luck in the top flight.

'There might have been one or two options in the Premier League but when Norwich came in, like I say, I knew what they were about,' he said. 'That was a major thing for me. I knew they got it down and passed it and I wanted to be a part of that football. There is a lot of excitement (about the Premier League) but also I think you have to settle down and not get carried away or it can come and smack you in the face. That is what pre-season is for, and getting ready for it. The friendlies are good to get fit and get sharp but everyone is waiting for the big game to come around. I had a good season at Leicester and sometimes as a player you know when it is time to try and push yourself onto the next level. This is one of the best levels there is so now I'm here let's see what I can do.'

Naughton has had limited Premier League opportunities to impress in Tottenham's star-studded first team squad, but Spurs' chief Harry Redknapp has laid down the challenge.

'He has just told me to go out and get some experience of the Premier League, enjoy yourself and show people what you can do,' he said. 'He is a good manager. He has shown that by getting Tottenham in the Champions' League and obviously he expects me to come back full of confidence, which I am sure I will, and playing a lot of games. Hopefully I can get games, play well and then we'll see what happens here and at Tottenham.

'It's up to them then. Tottenham have a lot of very good right backs but all I can do is my best and then see what Harry Redknapp thinks when I get back. When I first got there I didn't know really what to expect but training with world class players helps. You can't quite explain what it does, it just relaxes you and it's a good feeling.'

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