Manchester’s finest will not faze Norwich City defender Michael Turner

Norwich City defender Michael Turner is relishing a Manchester double this week. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd Norwich City defender Michael Turner is relishing a Manchester double this week. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Tuesday, October 29, 2013
6:30 AM

Norwich City centre-back Michael Turner insists a testing Manchester double header this week is why he plays the game at the highest level.

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Turner is ready and willing if required by Chris Hughton for the Canaries’ Capital One Cup fourth round test tonight at United before returning to the north-west to face Manchester City at the Etihad on Premier League duty. The 29-year-old believes all the expectation will be on their illustrious hosts – which could work in Norwich’s favour.

“It’s an exciting week and we’re going to go there and try to win both games,” he said. “I think the way we’ve played against Arsenal and Chelsea, who are two of the top teams, means we can take encouragement from that. We showed we can play good football against the good sides. There is obviously no pressure on us. No one expects us to go there, to go to either Manchester game, and get anything, so there is a little bit of freedom for us and hopefully we can continue the way we have been playing.

“We just have to keep believing in each other. The last four games we have played really well and we haven’t taken as many points as we would have liked. There was a big turnaround of players in the summer and it does take time for them to settle into the team and for the team to find a consistent shape, if you like.

“We feel we’re slowly getting to the place where, with how we’re playing, we can get wins.”

Turner played an integral part in Norwich’s Premier League win over Manchester United at Carrow Road last season, which proved a rare blip on their march to another title.

David Moyes has endured some difficult early days since succeeding Sir Alex Ferguson at the champions, but Hughton believes the former Evertonian was the perfect appointment.

“I’ve spoken to him on lots of occasions and he is someone I have incredible respect for,” said Hughton. “I have no doubts he would do an extremely good job there and when he was announced as the new manager I felt he was the right man. Certainly by the standards they are used to being around that top two in the table they have not started as strongly, but that for me is a reflection of just how competitive the league is this season, with the likes of Liverpool, Everton and Tottenham also having good starts. What matters is how the season progresses and your finishing position and I have no doubts United will be right up there.

“I think he’ll take this competition seriously. They are a club who want to win every game they play. The reality is that the bigger clubs have more chance of winning cup competitions. You look domestically and they have two opportunities and this is one of those.”

Hughton believes the League Cup has had something of a revival in recent seasons, with the elite and the underdogs both enjoying success.

“I think some clubs will still treat it in a different way but overall last season I detected a change in the approach to this competition,” said Hughton. “There is no doubt it is an opportunity to use a squad but that is not a detrimental thing with the quality of most Premier League squads. As a manager it allows you to build that competitive edge with lads who perhaps have been just short of featuring in the league.”

8 comments

  • I thought Turner had quite a decent game against Cardiff, still I can't argue with the idea of selecting Bennett who has been unlucky not to feature. I doubt Man U away is the sort of game that CH will risk trying three at the back though...

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    GossVolley

    Tuesday, October 29, 2013

  • I'd like to see Bennett get more outings to be honest. Good solid defender who also finds the net more often than you really expect of defenders. No disrepspect to Turner and Bassong, but I think he's got the potential to be a better player than both of them. Solid defender at the moment and also finds the net quite a bit for a defender.

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    LittleYellowBirdie

    Tuesday, October 29, 2013

  • Think Hughton will put out a different team from last Saturday as I don't expect he has much expectation of beating Man U. Maybe some of the players who are under used will be there i.e. Bennett,Whittaker,Beccio.Fox.

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    goldie

    Tuesday, October 29, 2013

  • Trevor, I totally agree with that! I thought Bassong was a bit shaky at times on Sat, mainly in terms of stray passes going straight to opposition. I definitely think we would benefit from a player in the John Poslston mode, a central defender that can play good football would be on my Jan shopping list to be honest. I agree about this cup being a time to experiment Im just not sure we are going to see a drastic change of formation from CH at the moment as Im guessing he thinks he's getting closer to the right formula?

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    GossVolley

    Tuesday, October 29, 2013

  • GV, Turner has been playing well but I think both he and Bassong are slightly slow on their feet. What we have is two out and out No 5 style centre halves but what we perhaps need is one No 5 and one No 4 who is good with his feet as well as with his head, a bit like John Polston of old. I am not convinced that Bassong is back to his best yet so Bennett and Turner could be the option to go with. Given that we are unlikely to win this cup anyway, I think it is the ideal match to give a three centre back option a go. I would much rather see us experiment in the cup than lose more points in the league staying with a formation that is not being successful.

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    TrevorKeith

    Tuesday, October 29, 2013

  • Given we conceded 7 goals in two games recently, this suggests that we need to tweak our defense slightly so I am not sure Turner will be playing today or Saturday come to that. I would select Bennett as he is quicker on his feet and if CH dares to go with three at the back, then I would expect to see Bennett, Bassong & Martin filling those berths. OTBC.

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    TrevorKeith

    Tuesday, October 29, 2013

  • Interesting to see who Moyes picks, but even moreso on who Hughton picks.Will one of our young trophy winers have to come off the bench to save the game again.

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    wivenhoebudgie

    Tuesday, October 29, 2013

  • goldie, with respect may I say Fox has gone to Barnsley.

    Report this comment

    Kristafa

    Tuesday, October 29, 2013

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

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