Norwich City look to make the most of home comforts in Premier League Everton opener
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City will seek to hit the ground running when they host Everton in their Premier League curtain raiser.
New Toffees' boss Roberto Martinez's side will provide the opening day opposition at Carrow Road on August 17 before the Canaries face a trip to newly-promoted Hull City and Southampton head to Norfolk to round off the first month.
Chris Hughton has already stated he wants no repeat of the sluggish start to his tenure which saw the Canaries claim three points from their first seven Premier League fixtures.
That warning was brought into stark focus yesterday following the release of the 2013/14 top flight programme which presented the club with a potentially daunting finale.
Norwich face trips to Chelsea and champions Manchester United, along with a home test against Liverpool, before wrapping up their campaign against Arsenal at Carrow Road on May 11.
Former Canaries' stalwart Darren Eadie believes Hughton's squad will positively relish mixing it with a quartet of Champions-League contenders over those closing weeks.
'It is a difficult spell when you look at Norwich's run-in but as a player you want to challenge yourself and back yourself,' he said. 'You want to have a say against teams who will have something to play for because it is quite nice to try and put a spanner in the works. As a player you should take that on board rather than see it as a negative. Before those four at the end of the season there is a clutch of winnable games. You can look through fixture lists and pick out games that you feel you will win and vice versa, but last season showed it doesn't always work out that way.'
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Eadie is confident City's summer squad makeover allied to a strong finish to the previous campaign mean Norwich can start to set their sights higher.
'I really see Norwich now as almost a mid-table steady Premier League team. I don't see them having to pick up points for survival,' he said. 'Particularly if you look at the way they finished last season and with the players coming in they can now push on be an established side.
'The start doesn't look too and even if you broaden that out to look at the first six or so fixtures they are very winnable. Last season was a dreadful start against some teams we would have expected to take points from so that proves you never can tell, but you would expect them to pick up nine to 12 points.'