Norwich City new boy Nathan Redmond is in dreamland
Nathan Redmond admitted yesterday he was still in dreamland after sealing his Premier League move to Norwich City.
The 19-year-old is slowly coming to terms with swapping boyhood club Birmingham's Championship battles for testing himself against some of the best in the English game.
Redmond knows he faces a steep learning curve after establishing himself in the Blues' first team over the past couple of seasons.
'I don't think it has sunk in yet,' he said. 'I was having a conversation with my mum last night and I don't think it has sunk it about some of the places I will be playing at and against hopefully some of the players. I've had a lot of texts from family members and friends saying I need to put one in at Villa Park and that would be a great place for me to play at. I am sure a lot of people would love to see me score there and I would love to as well just to put one past them but that is another ground I am looking forward to.
'It's always a massive step up. There are players who seem to struggle and others who take it in their stride, but I just need to continue to listen, learn and develop.'
Redmond proved earlier this summer he can handle pressure on the biggest stages as one of the few success stories in an otherwise abject European Championship exit for England's Under-21s.
'I went into that tournament with a lot of confidence, to be honest,' he said. 'I was meant to be going with the under-20s and then I got called up to the 21s at short notice. I finished the season in good form at Birmingham, I had a good consistent run of nine or ten games and at that stage I was really enjoying my football and I took that into the 21s.
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'I had no expectations, really, and no problems in terms of confidence with my ability to play at that level. It was about taking my opportunity and continuing to learn. I spoke to my parents and my agent and Lee Clark and they all gave me the confidence and belief just to go and express myself and play my own game.'
Redmond readily conceded it had been a wrench to leave his hometown club, but the teenager believes Norwich offer the perfect next step in his career.
'I am a bit sad to leave it all behind but I just hope the financial situation gets worked on because it is such a big club. It means a lot to the people of Birmingham,' he said. 'It feels like a fresh start for me in terms of coming out of my hometown. I am just looking forward to getting started and playing for a great club.
'The manager here gave me a real chance to play two years ago when he could have perhaps gone out and got other more experienced lads in and he set my career off, really. I am looking forward to playing at Carrow Road. Even just talking to the player liasion guy who has shown me around you see how much it means to the city. I've been told they have sold 22,000 season tickets already and just that level of support in front of a full stadium is something to really get excited about.'