Even Michael Turner admits the Championship is suiting him down to the ground, following Norwich City’s derby win

Michael Turner celebrates victory at the end of the East Anglian derby at Portman Road. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Michael Turner celebrates victory at the end of the East Anglian derby at Portman Road. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Sunday, August 24, 2014
8:21 PM

Before this month, it was more than six years since Michael Turner last played outside the Premier League – yet there’s a glint in his eye when you ask him about Championship football.

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Michael Turner wins a header against Daryl Murphy at Portman Road. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesMichael Turner wins a header against Daryl Murphy at Portman Road. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

And no, it wasn’t solely an after-effect from a wonderfully morale-boosting Norwich City victory over the Canaries’ old foes Ipswich Town in their own back yard.

While an East Anglian derby always has needle, so does the rest of English football’s second tier.

“I’m sure you and other people will be able to see if I’ve got better since I last played in the Championship, but I’d like to think so,” said Turner. “Obviously playing in the Premier League for six years has been great for me and I’ve learned so much in that time.

“I enjoy the scrap – you get a lot of games like this one, which I tend to like, so long may it continue.”

There’s a smile on the big centre-back’s face at this point which says it all – the three wins on the bounce, two clean sheets, a new contract in the bag and a feeling Norwich City really do have everything in place to make up for their wretched campaign last term.

And of course, making sure Ipswich Town will have to wait a little longer before getting one over their bitter rivals.

“It was a backs to the wall job at times and we knew what they were about, Ipswich,” he added.

“That they’d try to fire balls down the channels and lob balls inside the box. So it was probably a game where us centre-halves would have to come through it and win headers, fight. And that’s what we had to do in the end.

“That is kind of my game really – I feel like I’m comfortable when I’m defending like that.

“As a team generally we felt we could’ve played better – but we just weren’t able to get settled really. Obviously though, we’ll take the result all day.”

The only sour note proved to be injury to the recalled Ryan Bennett, who went over on his ankle just a few minutes into the game and now faces an anxious wait over the severity of the damage.

“It was a little bit disruptive, but probably because it came so early that might have helped us a little bit,” said Turner. “We were obviously very disappointed for Benno. He came in here and did excellently when he came on against Blackburn. So hopefully he won’t be too long out.

“But Russ (Martin) has been playing in the middle with me for the first few games, so it was relatively easily going back to that.”

He added: “For me, I just want to stay fit and stay playing games. I know if I can do that, you’ll probably see the best of me if I’m playing regularly. The first four games have gone well for us, and it’s been a good start from everyone.

“It’s very satisfying to win this – any derby you want to win for the fans and you could see that the fans were excellent for us all game; that was a massive help to us and it’s a great day.

“Any successful team needs someone up front scoring goals, and I think we’ve got probably four or five top quality strikers. Grabbs is playing up top at the moment and producing, so that’s great for everyone.”

Follow Michael Bailey on Twitter @michaeljbailey

15 comments

  • Mad Brewer

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • Yes, PaulWho, I have commented on Turner`s cuddle with Berra (on another board), as have a few others. Baguio is adamant (word ju jour) that Grabbs was offside. Even MickMack seems to believe that Berra played Lewis onside. Most importantly, so did the referee!

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • Anyone else notice why Berra was lying down playing Grabban onside for the goal? Well done Michael Turner.

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    PaulWho

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • Very good defender in this league.would be my first choice CB every week.Hope big Benno's ok,need him next to turner and start Russ at RB.Whits is to slow off the mark for a RB.

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    tonyb

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • Agree with you totally, Geolis. On another board I`ve made the same point as you about Cuellar. Perhaps Adams will use Tuesday`s League Cup tie vs Crawley to give him some game time? Likewise Jerome. Also maybe grant Wessi a little rest and give Gary O`Neil a whole game (or most of it)? I doubt we`ll see Surman; I suspect he`ll be kept safe in anticipation of Bournemouth`s visit on Saturday, when he won`t play, but all necessary paperwork can be signed just before Window Slamming Time. Then back to his beloved south coast. If that scenario comes to pass (it`s only surmise; I`m not an `Insider`) then good luck to Andrew. He`s been a sound player for us.

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • Agreed re Michael Turner but I think our defensive record to date flatters us. Russell Martin doesn't have the physical presence to be a centre back and the weakness is too easily exploited. Ryan Bennett's fitness is crucial but in his absence we surely have to take a punt on Cuellar. Why else did we buy him?

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    Geolis

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • Jakarta, I didn`t mean to imply that you would sing that `song` - it was clumsy construction on my part. ;-)

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • Agree with everything said on this board so far. Like Canary\Phoenix, I judged Turner harshly at first. I think it started with that 5-0 drubbing at Fulham. He seemed to have a touch of "The Ginger Pele" about him, but he`s a solid citizen alright. I share Jakarta`s concerns about R. Bennett, and about Whittaker - but please don`t start using that old Turner song on him if he improves. Just be grateful!

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • A good player at Championship level Bob, but will be found wanting against the better teams, who play football. What a disaster for Ryan Bennett. That means more of the suspect Whitaker.

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    Erpingham Tractor

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • Just look at the good City teams through the years....always a good goalie, strong centre half and a guy up front scoring goals. That's what we have now which is why I see a happy successful season ahead of us. NA may have started slowly in some eyes but he knows where we're going now so enjoy the ride!

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    Bogaz John

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • I agree with other letters Turner looks really in control and solid. Its good to have that winning feeling again

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    Derek McDonald

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • For me Turner was City's MOTM a very sold performance in doing what a defender should do. His decision making and at times positional play was what broke down many of the Ipswich attacking drives. The only defender I had concerns over was Whittaker, whilst going forward did some good he was caught out too often when doing his defensive duties. The injury to Bennett is a worry and shows why we need more depth at the back. OTBC

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    Jakarta Canary

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • The number of challenges he won, the number of times he out-fought or out-thought their strikers. I've just signed up to this site to say I think he is a class act. I'm gutted that we (me included) judged him so harshly when he started and am embarrassed to have sung that song last year. I won't sing it again. I know it's a joke and is meant as praise but deserves better

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    Canary from the flames

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • For me, a stand out player in the derby win. Excellent in the air, strength and determination ........... a Mr Norwich in the making (just please give it a rest with the song " he used to be $hite" ............ its embarrassing for the guy OTBC

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    nevermindthedanger

    Sunday, August 24, 2014

  • I've always rated MT. Solid, dependable defender who never let's the team down. Would make good captain!

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    Bob Hunt

    Sunday, August 24, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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