By the time Glenn Roeder has finished with his summer surgery, Sammy Clingan will be one of the better known faces around Colney. And the Northern Irishman has admitted that he is settling in very nicely after joining on a Bosman free transfer last month.
The first of Roeder's additions this pre-season, Clingan has slotted in to his central-midfield role in impressive fashion and after a solid showing against Gorleston last week, the former Nottingham Forest man continued the good work in the 2-1 win over Ahlafors yesterday.
The second-half even saw the 24-year-old shine at centre-half after Jason Shackell limped off with an ankle injury and his versatility could be key in the coming months.
And Clingan admitted that it was a case of 'so far, so good' after his switch from the City Ground this summer.
“It's going well so far, I've had a good pre-season under my belt and everything has been going well,” Clingan said, speaking after the last-gasp win at the Sjovallen stadium.
“The lads have really made me feel welcome and I'm just looking forward to working with them. Pre-season tours are good, just to get to know some of the lads and what way they play and it's been good so far.
“Yesterday was a tough game and we knew it would be because all the Scandinavian teams have big, strong individuals and they always work well as a team, but luckily enough we got the winner towards the end.”
He has come in for some criticism from Forest supporters for leaving to join a so-called smaller club and I can't imagine he will receive the warmest of welcomes on his return to Nottingham this year.
After finishing as runners-up in League One last year, Clingan was offered a new deal to keep Robert Earnshaw company as the East Midlanders aim for back-to-back promotions under the guidance of Colin Calderwood.
They have been strongly backed in some quarters and it will be interesting to see if they carry the momentum forward in the way play-off finalists Bristol City did last season.
But the Belfast boy has decided to join the Roeder Revolution in Norfolk and as far as he is concerned, it was the right choice.
“It was a difficult decision to leave Forest but once I spoke to the gaffer here it made up my mind straightaway,” Clingan added.
“He told me his plans, they were the same as mine and I want to be a part of that. We will see in the future but I think it is the right decision and I'm really looking forward to the season starting.”
Despite the lack of numbers in the Canary ranks, midfield is one area where they are comparably well off.
The competition is sure to be fierce and with Mark Fotheringham, Darel Russell, Matty Pattison and Clingan all battling for two places, it is shaping up to be quite a fight as we edge ever closer to the Championship opener on August 9 at Coventry.
Messrs Hoolahan, Chadwick and Spillane are also equally at home in the centre of the park so Clingan will be fully aware that he will have to be at the top of his game to keep the shirt. After all, Roeder doesn't do favourites.
But as far as the softly spoken Northern Irishman is concerned, it can only be a positive; complacency just isn't an option.
“The manager got rid of a few players last year and he wanted to bring in some players this season,” Clingan continued.
“I think there are some more on their way and it will be good to get them in because it will be healthy for the squad and there will be competition for places all over. That can only be good for the players.
“You know if you're not doing well then there is always someone there that will step in and take your shirt. You've just got to be prepared for the challenge.”
And with Shackell struggling with that ankle injury, could Clingan be forced back into his emergency role as a defender against Falkenbergs on Tuesday night?
City chief Roeder admitted after yesterday's tour opener that there could be some square pegs in round holes for the last game of the Canaries' Scandinavian tour.
He was, however, impressed with Clingan in his new position ? even if the player himself hasn't got any plans for a permanent switch into defence.
“Obviously I've played in midfield through all my career but I settled in at centre-back which was a bit strange to me but I think I adapted ok, it's just another position to play.”
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