Norwich new boy Andrew Surman has admitted that manager Paul Lambert’s continuing ambition was a major factor in his decision to leave Premier League Wolves.
City’s new recruit revealed that it didn’t take too long for him to be persuaded to sign for the club after discussions with Canary boss Lambert.
And now he’s in the building, Surman is enjoying every minute, especially with a young, hungry manager to work under.
“He said we are still positive from last season and that the club is full of ambition,” Surman told the media yesterday at Colney.
“He did not have to say much though. When you look at last season, the manager showed how positive he was and he was not just going to rest on his laurels.
“He wants to push this club forward and he wanted me to help do that. I was taken straight away. I was really impressed and ended up signing not too long after that.”
The former Southampton prospect has begun pre-season training with the Canaries following his undisclosed switch when becoming the club’s fifth signing of the summer.
The 23-year-old is considered as somewhat of a coup for the League One champions and he should add genuine quality to a midfield which has already been bolstered by the signings of ex-Colchester man David Fox and Welsh international Andrew Crofts.
The left-footed midfielder, who cost Wanderers around £1.2 million when they concluded his signature just a year ago, can also be versatile and he’s often slotted into defence when needed – an ability which may come to serve City well when injuries and suspensions kick in.
And the Johannesburg-born player revealed that he is adapting well to his new surroundings, whilst enjoying the physical grind that pre-season training provides at this time of the year.
“The lads have been very welcoming to me and they are a good set of lads. I’ve only been here about a week and it has been tough like I expected it to be, as pre-season always is. I’m just looking forward to start of the season now.”
Surman does, however, believe that the gruelling training regime has highlighted the impressive team spirit on show at Colney; it’s a positive sign that he has picked up on that so soon.
“I think this is when it shows the team spirit – the lads are trying to pull each other through it. It is mainly the running which is tough – the blisters, the sore legs and it’s mentally draining as well.
“Everyone expects it, you know it is going to hit you for the first six weeks and you just try to get each other through it. You have to get as fit as you can before the start of the season so you are ready for it.”
Surman, who was a product of the Southampton Academy before making 144 appearances for the first-team, is honest enough to admit that it was tough to leave the Premier League.
But he seems convinced that regular football in Norfolk can reignite his career.
“Every player’s aim is to play at as high a level as possible. I didn’t play as much as I would have liked last season and it was a split decision. I was in the Premier League but there is no point in me sitting on the bench every week or in the stands.
“I wanted to try and re-vamp my career really and when Norwich came calling, like I said, I was really impressed and it is a good opportunity for me.”
And clearly absorbing the confidence in the City camp, the midfielder is confident that it won’t be long before he is plying his trade in the Premier League once again – this time with the Canaries.
“The manager is positive and I think we are expecting to take the Championship by storm and try and get up that league.
“We want to try and win it – there is no point setting your goals any lower. We want to win as many games as possible and get as high up the league as we can.”
Tom Haylett, George Watts