City defender Michael Nelson will not be making any bold predictions ahead of the new Championship season, despite some bookmakers putting them amongst the favourites for promotion.
Norwich are as low as 4/1 with SportingBet, but while confidence must be high in the camp after the 2009/10 League One title romp, the big centre-half and his team-mates will hope to stay under the radar for the time being.
“We just want to do as well as we can,” he told reporters after the 3-0 win over Dereham Town on Saturday. “I don’t think you’ll hear anyone shouting about any targets we’ve set or what we’re going to do.
“We’ll keep that in house. We have our own individual targets, our team targets and I hope we’ll achieve them.
“You hear about what Leicester have done and what Blackpool have done but we’re different to any other team that has come up and we’ll just try and get as many points as we can.
“But expectation comes with winning the league – it’s a pressure you want to have. You don’t want to have people come and watch you because you’re not winning.
“We’re in a little bit of a winning habit after the end of the season but it’s gone now, we’re starting fresh.
“But I hope we can carry some of that momentum into the start of the season and I hope the cameras will keep coming because we keep winning.”
City did, of course, set off for Germany and that training camp yesterday and Nelson believes that the new squad, with Messrs Crofts, Fox, Ward, Surman, Smith and Ruddy being added this summer, are gelling together nicely.
And a week on foreign shores should only improve the bond between the players ahead of that Championship opener on August 6.
“Everyone seems to have settled in quite well,” added Nelson, who will be battling with Zak Whitbread, Elliot Ward and Jens Berthel Askou for a starting berth.
“It’s quite a close group anyway from last year so I think if anybody came in and tried to upset the balance they’d be put in their place pretty quickly anyway.
“It seems quite a good mix and I hope this next week [in Germany] will get everyone settled in even more.
“It’s something new for us. We went to Scotland last year and when I was at Hartlepool we used to go to Holland every season, so it will be nice for the boys to get away – especially the new lads.
“I don’t think there will be a great deal for us to do out there so it’s great that all the boys will be together and get a chance to mix well and get a little bit of togetherness before the start of the season.
“You know the weather’s going to be warm and you’ve got to put the work in and do all the running.
“I’m sure there will be a pretty good mix of football and running so I hope we just get the work done while we’re away and come back at the end of the week ready for some games.
“We want to get a bit of momentum going before the start of the season but the important thing is that we get the lads’ fitness together and make sure we come through the games without any injuries.”
Nelson missed the very end of last season’s title party with a slight problem on the bottom of his foot, but luckily for him and the Canaries, there seems to be no lasting damage. Saturday’s opening goalscorer is fit and ready to go.
“It seems to be fine. They monitored it during the summer and I came in halfway through for two intensive days on it just to try to get a reaction from it and nothing happened, so we just left it from there and I hope it will stay the way it is now.”
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