Norwich City captain Grant Hanley has dispelled the suggestion of any fear at the club as the Canaries make their return to the Premier League.
Hanley, who will play in his first international tournament at this summer’s European Championships, labelled feelings of inferiority as “worthless,” despite City’s dismal 2019/20 top-flight campaign, when in discussion with Jake Humphrey and Professor Damien Hughes in The High Performance Podcast.
“Feeling inferior is totally worthless and has no value. As a senior player, I couldn’t be going in and saying to the lads, ‘f***ing hell I’m s****ing myself for next season.’
“You have to think to yourself: ‘Why not? What’s stopping us?’ It’s a mindset about being the best version of yourself you can possibly be. That’s the ethos of the club, that’s the kind of people that are in place.”
The 29-year-old also discussed his work with the psychologist, explaining how he’d improved his game by focusing on mentality. Hanley said: “I’ve worked with this guy for a couple of years now. It’s really impressive. It’s mainly about challenging my mindset, trying to change my mindset, being okay to talk about things that are worrying me.
“The main objective is to do everything you can to be the best version of yourself. That’s not just football related, that’s in life in general. It’s made such a difference to my life, and also on the pitch. It’s been the little bit of difference that’s helped me improve.”
City’s number five also praised his predecessor in the shirt as well as with the armband, claiming that the Norwich legend’s leadership style was a source of inspiration for his own.
“I think about how I try and behave and I look at lads like Russell Martin, how he carries himself,” Hanley said. “He’s a true gentleman and just how he handles himself, how he carries himself in the dressing room, he wants to be the best for everybody in there. It’s lads like that you really learn from.
“Darren Fletcher as well, with Scotland, seeing people like that that were so humble and did everything they possibly could for the lads in the dressing room, I definitely learnt a lot from them.”
Hanley, continuing to discuss psychology and the importance of a strong mindset in achievement, discussed the effects of social media on players’ confidence. The Scot isn’t on social media, but highlighted the impact he’s seen it have on teammates.
“I don’t need however many people telling me they think I’m s***, and at the same time I don’t really need however many people telling me they think I’m a great player. That’s never really been in my thought process,” he said.
“A lot of lads have got an issue with that and I’ve seen first hand how much it affects players. I don’t understand it. I don’t understand why you need people that probably haven’t got a clue about football telling you that you’re good or you’re bad or whatever.
“Fortunately for me, I’ve always known that it’s only really my judgement that really matters to me. There’s obviously a couple more, the manager first of all, but I think deep down if you’re content with how you’ve done, that’s all that really matters.”
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