City captain Mark Fotheringham this morning put pen to paper on a brand new, one-year deal sounding a clear warning ? 'we must do better'.
With the release of nine professionals earlier this month, it is fair to say that Canary fans were becoming a little edgy at the prospect of their skipper following them out of the exit door at Colney.
And with Alan Pardew's Charlton said to be keen on the former Celtic man, along with a host of SPL clubs, Fotheringham's commitment to the City cause is a major boost as Glenn Roeder's recruitment drive continues.
With supporters inevitably questioning the length of the Scot's new deal, he was keen to stress that it was irrelevant. The man they call Fozzy, much like the gaffer, likes to live life on the edge.
It's clear that he thrives on the challenge put in front of him. And that challenge is simple ? promotion.
“I'm absolutely delighted and it's good to get things sorted out,” Fotheringham told MFW this morning. “To be honest, I think the club wanted me to stay for longer but the length of the contract is not important to me.
“The main thing is that I'm going to be at Norwich next season. Being the type of person I am, I always like to be kept on my toes. I like having that aim.
“I'll definitely have a lot to play for again next season in terms of a new contract and the main thing for me is that we challenge for the Premier League next year. That's what it's all about.
“I want to achieve things with this club. I get fed up with Adam Drury and Darren Huckerby talking about their great seasons when they got promoted. It's good banter but, as captain, I would obviously love to be part of a team that is going to challenge.
“We've made sure that we are in the Championship next season and we got the job done. But it was a very disappointing year and I went on my holidays as a disappointed footballer.
“Last season wasn't good enough. There are a lot of incentives for me next year and I'm looking forward to it. I know what I've got to do now.”
With some impressive showings in the Canary engine room after recovering from ankle ligament damage, there was always going to be interest in Fotheringham, especially with no transfer fee attached.
In the age of inflated fees ? especially in this country ? everybody loves a freebie. And whilst the 24-year-old admitted there were other clubs waiting in the wings, committing his short-term future to City was always his number one choice.
“With other teams sniffing around, it can put the question in your head,” Fotheringham added. “But it is a great honour to be the captain of this club.
“It would be disrespectful to talk about other clubs and I was always looking to come back and sign on again at Norwich – I feel settled.
“We get 25,000 at Carrow Road every week and you look at teams sneaking into the Premier League and, in my eyes, they are not as big as Norwich.
“If you went to one of these clubs and didn't play regularly, that would not be good for me. It's all about the football for me and I'll work hard to make sure I'm a key player again next season.”
The City playmaker was also keen to point out the role the Canary management team played in keeping him in Norfolk. On more than one occasion, Fotheringham has waxed lyrical on the subject of Messrs Roeder, Clark and Stephenson.
And their influence in converting the Scot from a fringe player under Peter Grant, to a key cog in the Canary wheel must not go unnoticed. It certainly won't if Fotheringham has got anything to do with it?
“I spoke to the manager back in December and told him that I want to be a part of things. I think he's the best manager in the league and we've got the best backroom staff as well in Lee Clark and Paul Stephenson.
“That's been the main reason I have decided to sign on again for next season. The quality of player that our backroom staff are going to be able to attract to the club is going to be high. Everyone is going to have to perform.”
It certainly promises to be a busy and interesting summer at Carrow Road and the 20,000 season ticket holders that have already booked their seat for 2008-09 will be hoping this will be the first signing of many.
With the departure of so many players, including the loan starlets returned to sender, Roeder's 'major surgery' has only just begun.
And Fotheringham is confident that change will be as good as a rest for the Canaries.
“That's the thing in football now, there is always going to be change. But it's exciting and I want to be part of it. I feel I can improve again and I didn't want to leave Norwich City on a low point.
“When I look back on my career, I want to be able to say that I got promotions and it's going to be an exciting summer.
“Hopefully the Doc [Gary Doherty] will sign a new deal as well because he is a great lad and a good character to have around the place.
“He's a good, experienced defender so hopefully he'll get tied up. And it will be exciting to see who else comes in as well.”
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