Russell - Give us time

CHRIS LAKEY Darel Russell has warned fans not to expect Norwich City's new boys to get it right “overnight”.Russell makes his first appearance in the yellow and green for more than four years - his last was, coincidentally, against Saturday's opponents, Preston, at Carrow Road in May, 2003.

CHRIS LAKEY

Darel Russell has warned fans not to expect Norwich City's new boys to get it right “overnight”.

Russell makes his first appearance in the yellow and green for more than four years - his last was, coincidentally, against Saturday's opponents, Preston, at Carrow Road in May, 2003.

The 26-year-old midfielder was the last of the summer's eight new arrivals at City and admits that it's going to take time for the new arrivals to get to know each other on the field.

“I don't think we have had enough time in that sense,” said Russell, who featured in both home friendlies, against West Ham and Vitesse Arnhem, last week.

“With the amount of new players we had come in this year I think we are going to have a couple of up and down times until we start to get that continuity going, but once we do get there I think there will be no problem and we will be fine.

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“I am sure the gaffer will say he doesn't feel that everyone has had enough time together - I have only been here just over a week myself and there are a lot of new players to come into a team and try and gel in different formations.

“It will eventually get there and when we get there I think we will be doing very well.

“I always find the first week or two is very deceptive. Certain teams are fitter than others and it can be a bit testing those first couple of weeks. You can never read too much into the first couple of games and after that I think it starts to settle down a little bit.”

Russell's own lack of activity in the summer - he also played 25 minutes for Stoke against Real Madrid - adds up to less than two full matches.

“I'd say I feel about 80pc, fitness wise,” he said. “But you never know until you are out there and start competing against other players that are in a similar league. We played against West Ham, who are a level above us, and Vitesse was a different type of football completely, so you never really know until you actually play a team that is in the same league as yourself and that play the same type of football.”

“I've had a couple of matches here and I have felt better in each game and I have felt better each day in training so you kind of feel the improvement each day - you can still see there is a little more to come.”

Despite his lack of pre-season matches, Russell is looking forward to a likely start at Deepdale alongside another newcomer, Julien Brellier, in midfield.

“Julien looks good,” said Russell. “He likes to put his foot in, he knows the game really well and I am excited to try and play alongside him. He looks really good, I have been impressed with him so far. He plays more of a defensive game and I prefer more of the attacking side of things so it could be a good balance.

“It is always a difficult game up there, they always tend to try and play good football as well. They have lost their top player in David Nugent so hopefully that will be advantage to us and we can go up there and try and get a result.

“Everyone is excited to get the season underway and try and get that first result, that's the big one - you want to try and get that first win as soon as possible.”