New City signing Steven Smith admitted it was time to leave Rangers, as he moved south to pen a two-year deal with Paul Lambert’s Championship new boys.
There is no fee involved as his Gers deal is coming to an end this month and the 24-year-old becomes the third addition since the League One season came to an end less than a month ago.
Smith has had a mixed time at Ibrox since making his debut in 2004, spending a long spell on the sidelines with groin problems, but 74 appearances for the Glasgow giants indicates he has something about him.
And after finding it difficult to cement a regular spot in Walter Smith’s side in recent months, the defender was sure it was time to move on.
“I think it is another huge club,” he told reporters at a Carrow Road press conference this afternoon. “I grew up playing for Rangers and I had a great time there but it went a bit stale; it was time to move on.
“I came down and met the manager and saw the training ground and stadium. I think if you are going to make a move from a club like Rangers then a club with good training facilities, a good stadium and a big fan base makes it an easy decision to make.
“People talk about my injuries but that was a long time ago. I have been fit for a long time but It is hard to get back in a side that keeps winning. I have been fit for a long time now and am itching to play regular football again.
“The move was very straight-forward really. I came down a few weeks ago to meet the manager, then went away to speak to my family. From there it was pretty straight-forward.”
Smith’s path to first-team football in Norfolk will, of course, be blocked by City stalwart Adam Drury. But the Scot is up for the challenge. After all, any club with ambition seeks at least two players for each position.
“It is a challenge I’m ready for,” he continued. “I have spent a lot time watching games and being involved in squads so this is something I’m really looking forward to.
“But you have to respect the players that got the club back in this league, they did a great job. They deserve a crack at this league as well but they need competition for places and I am here to provide that.”
While he may not have a big reputation outside of Scotland, Smith is confident that he can bring plenty to the party. It seems the Championship is a known quantity north of the border and the new City left-back can’t wait to get started.
“When I first got in the Rangers side, people use to go on about getting forward, but it is also important to defend as well.
“I was lucky enough to play with David Weir a few times and he is big on his full-backs defending which he drilled into me a bit. I try to add both of those things together.
“People in Scotland take a lot more notice of the Championship now I think, since a lot more players have left the Scottish leagues to play here.
“I have a few friends who play here as well and it is a very tough league to play in. But it’s one I very much look forward to playing in.”