Norwich City’s Bradley Johnson - First day at Fulham gave us a lesson
Bradley Johnson admitted Norwich City's opening day Premier League humbling acted as the reality check they needed to compete this season.
As bad as the 5-0 defeat was at Craven Cottage, the Canaries' response has been more important – and while it is early days, the signs against Queens Park Rangers were encouraging; at Tottenham more so.
And while the City midfielder was open about how some – inside and outside the club – saw the campaign panning out, he believes Chris Hughton's side are starting to set the standards they now need to maintain.
Johnson said: 'The first game of the season is always hard and Fulham gave us that push we needed I think – we were dreadful that day and we had the game against QPR to put things right, and it was the same again at Spurs. I thought we were unlucky not to come away with the three points in those.
'I think we needed that result at Fulham. Last year has gone and I think we came into this season thinking it was going to be pretty easy but the Fulham game was a kick up the backside and we put it right against QPR
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'But we can't go into games like that in this league because we were punished. So we just want to kick on from here and hopefully we can do that against West Ham (at Carrow Road next weekend).
'I think after the first game everyone was thinking we were going to just lie down this season and get relegated. But we've shown throughout my time here our fighting spirit and never say die attitude.
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'If we can put in performances like the one at Tottenham each week then we'll be safe. We'll be all right.'
The evolution of the City squad is done until January's reopening of the transfer window – and Johnson took time to acknowledge the impact of centre-back Sebastien Bassong, one of the men to arrive in the days after the Fulham defeat.
'Seb is a confident lad and he's brought something we needed in this team – he's a great talker and he is always talking to me and Jonny Howson in front of him,' said the 25-year-old.
'And he's a leader as well, he's a great character, and I think we needed someone like that at the club and he's come in and done a terrific job for us.
'He played great at Spurs and kept their main strikers quiet – there are a lot of good characters at this club and he has been terrific for us.'
Johnson could also revel in his own performance at White Hart Lane – arguably evidence of the midfielder's richest vein of form since arriving at Carrow Road from Leeds last summer.
'Against QPR I felt pretty good and I carried it on into Spurs,' he added. 'It's unfortunate we've got the international break, which gives us a rest but when we play West Ham at home, we've got to do the same thing.
'I give my all – I think everyone knows that. Every time I walk over that white line I give 100 per cent and if it was a good performance at Spurs, then it was for the team. I'm not doing it for myself.
'There's a lot of competition here throughout this club. Foxy (David Fox) has just come back from injury, and we've got (Jacob) Butterfield coming back. It keeps all of us on our toes.
'We know we're not going to play every game this season but when they get their chance to come into the team I'm sure they'll do their best for the team.'