December 9 2013 Latest news:
Sunday, September 1, 2013
Over the opening weeks of the new season there has been a notable discussion over where Leroy Fer would be best deployed by Chris Hughton.
The City boss acknowledged the conundrum himself during pre-season over his £5m summer signing from FC Twente, aiming to take a bit of time to decide whether his young Dutch enforcer works in a role off the striker or holding back a bit deeper.
If it was up for discussion before Saturday, then the 90 minutes against Southampton may well have given conclusive proof of the answer.
Fer’s shift of breaking up play, spraying passes – like the one that set Nathan Redmond on his way to the game’s only goal – and getting the occasional chance of his own from a holding midfield position alongside Bradley Johnson worked better than any other combination so far this term.
Indeed, it earned him the afternoon’s man of the match champagne, which Fer reliably informed was destined for his mum.
And while the 23-year-old is still aiming to catch-up in terms of his physical condition, his face lights up at talking about the physicality of his new domestic league. It was safe to say the odd chat from Howard Webb following some of his weekend challenges wasn’t about to faze him.
“I didn’t feel nervous at all,” said Fer. “I don’t worry about my tackles. That’s the Premier League and sometimes it is a bit hard, but I enjoy that physical stuff very much.
“There’s maybe more you get away with here and it’s definitely more physical than in Holland. But I like it very much. I expect it. I’ve played two Premier League games now and both were really physical.
“When I play next to someone like Bradley, he is also physical so it’s really fun to play alongside him in the centre of midfield.”
And there is more to come from the Dutchman, who finds himself with a free fortnight over the international break.
“I’ll be training; I’ll do some stuff with the physical trainer, build up my condition and become stronger and stronger. I’ll be running but also doing stuff with my legs.
“But it’s the games that will really give me that better conditioning. That’s why the gaffer let me play on Tuesday (against Bury) as well, because it’s good for me to get my minutes and then 90 minutes again against Southampton.
“With FC Twente I played in Europe so I’m used to the three games in a week. It is physical with a lot of long balls but I’m getting better and better, and that’s good for me but also good for the team.”
Fer ensured he soaked up the atmosphere at the final whistle, and he already seems to have adoration of fans at Carrow Road.
“That was my first Premier League game at Carrow Road and it’s a really big win,” Fer added.
“It was a really big game. We’re delighted we got the three points and it was a good game for us – and the fans were amazing.”