Norwich City defender Michael Turner has no regrets over Sunderland exit

Michael Turner never had any doubts he would recover from a shaky start to his Norwich City career.

Michael Turner never had any doubts he would recover from a shaky start to his Norwich City career. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Michael Turner is Norwich City's very own renaissance man.

The solidly uncompromising Canaries' centre back speaks with an honesty that characterises his approach to the game. By Turner's own admission his Carrow Road career had to overcome an inauspicious start following his summer switch from Sunderland.

'I've been pleased with my form of late. I always knew if I played consistently, I'd show consistent form,' he said. 'It's what has put me in this position now.

'It's my fifth year in the Premier League so consistency is the key. Of course (it was a test of character), playing the first game then not playing the game after that was disappointing but it's nothing I'm going to cry about. I just got on with it and knew if I played a consistent string of games, I'd put in consistent performances.

'I was pleased to be back in the side during the 10-game unbeaten run when we put in some great performances and got some big points in. That was the platform for my season, getting back in the team and doing well and I'm pleased how it's gone of late.'

Turner was part of a Sunderland side that swept away Norwich in last season's Premier League fixture when City succumbed to a 3-0 defeat. The 29-year-old knows exactly what to expect from the Wearsiders' plentiful attacking options.

'We scored two great goals in the first half, which set us up for that game. I remember it was a shocking pitch that night and getting a two-goal lead just killed the game,' he said. 'It's going to be key again this time. They will be gunning for a fast start, maybe getting an early goal.

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'That will be their aim but we have to stand up to that and start well. It can be a great atmosphere if the home fans get behind the team. It does give you a leg up and I'm sure they will be looking to their fans to help them out. I hope from our point of view we can keep them quiet.

'Steven Fletcher (pictured right) is the main goalscorer. I wasn't there when he was there, but he has come in and scored a few goals and helped them. Stephane Sessegnon is a good player and they have dangerous players on the wings so it's going to be a tough game for us defensively. If we can keep a clean sheet there, it will be a great achievement.'

Turner bears no grudge towards Martin O'Neill ahead of his first reunion with the Black Cats' boss.

'I'm looking forward to going back and seeing a few old friends from Sunderland,' he said. 'In the second half of last season, I played quite a lot of games under Martin O'Neill. He's a very experienced manager who knows what he's doing and he's been in the Premier League a long time. He knows what it's all about.

'The first season I was pretty pleased with how things went and the second season started well and I thought I was really becoming what I wanted to be. But I picked up a bad injury which gave me a massive setback. I missed most of my second season and then in the third season I picked up another little injury, so it was a bit disrupted by injuries. It was disappointing but just one of those things. I don't feel I have anything to prove. I played some good games for the club and had some great wins so I was pleased with my contribution there over the years.'

O'Neill's men have only taken one point from their last 15 available but Turner knows the scale of the task to complete a Premier League double after edging out the Wearsiders 2-1 at Carrow Road.

'We know it's going to be a tough game. They will be looking at it as a game they can win,' he said. 'I know they've got a couple of tough games after us so I'm sure they will be looking at this one to put three points on the board.

'When I was a Sunderland player I always knew that playing at home was where we looked to pick up points. I'm a little bit surprised where they are in the table.

'They had a slow start and picked up and I thought they would be a mid-table side pushing on but it hasn't happened that way. In terms of the fans, they will be disappointed in their league position.'

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