Steve Whittaker hoping for another promotion push after signing new Norwich City deal
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Steven Whittaker is hoping to resurrect his Norwich City career by playing a part in another promotion campaign.
The Scotland international full-back was a key part of the Canaries squad which was relegated from the top flight in 2014 but bounced back via the Championship play-offs.
The 31-year-old made just nine appearances last season though and looked set to leave when his contract expired this summer, before signing a one-year extension this week, with the potential for another year.
'We kept the nucleus of the side and it showed, we played some great football in the Championship and were unlucky not to get automatic promotion,' Whittaker said.
'We didn't let that stop us though, we took the play-offs by storm. It was an amazing highlight for me personally and for the club and the fans.
'I'm sure we'll be up there pushing again. The aim is to get straight back up to that top league.'
The former Rangers right-back turns 32 next month and has almost 500 senior club appearances in English and Scottish football on his CV, as well as 39 club goals – and 31 international caps.
That experience helped the Edinburgh-born defender to keep working hard in training, despite his bit-part role for Alex Neil's team in the Premier League.
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'It's in my nature to get on with it in the background, and if the opportunity came around I would have been as ready as possible,' said Whittaker. 'I never gave up, I kept doing my stuff and I've been rewarded with another year's contract, maybe from just persevering when things weren't quite going my way.
'The manager said to me that my best attributes can come forward when we're the dominant side, and we're going to be that in the Championship. We're going to attack and hopefully I can contribute to that again, do my stuff on the pitch and help Norwich win football matches.
'He's seen the job I did for him in the Championship, and he knows that I'm capable of doing that again.'
Whittaker didn't feature in the Premier League again after the Canaries were beaten 6-2 at Newcastle in mid-October last season and did not feature at all after coming on as a substitute during extra-time at Everton in the fourth round of the Capital One Cup at the end of October, scoring in a 4-3 penalty shoot-out defeat.
'It's probably been one of the hardest parts of my career, for me personally,' the Scot added, speaking to City's official website.
'At the previous clubs I've been at, and with Norwich over the first three years, I've always played my part so to be that far out of the picture was a little bit new to myself.
'It was tough at times, but I just got my head down. It's in my character to keep working hard.'