Andrew Surman reveals the key to a Norwich City Championship encore
© Archant Norfolk 2014
Andrew Surman’s assessment of Norwich City’s Championship prospects counts for more than most.
"Football is such a rollercoaster. We had the disappointment last season but there is no reason we can’t bounce back and hopefully make it a special one this time around."
The 27-year-old is one of only four survivors from the squad who clinched promotion in 2011 and Surman made 30 appearances in the second tier last season during an impressive loan stint at Bournemouth.
Surman believes a week-long training trip to Italy can foster one of the key ingredients that underpinned City’s previous stellar campaign at this level.
“Team spirit is a massive thing,” he said. “I keep harping on about last time we got promoted but one of the main things for me back then was the team spirit was excellent. We had such a tight dressing room so going off to Italy and St George’s Park is important to get the new lads integrated because we need to hit the ground running. If you ask me, ‘What does it take in that division?’ then I would say you’ve got to be consistent. I think if you can get on a decent run at the start of the season you give yourself an excellent chance. When we got promoted last time I don’t recall us slipping out of the top six for most of that season. It’s about putting little runs together and stringing them together and that is where team spirit is massive. You can deal with losses pretty quickly if you have that and because there are so many games if you can get on a run then you have got a chance.”
Surman’s Norwich career has been a series of peaks and troughs which helps him to put City’s troubles last season in clear perspective.
“Football is such a rollercoaster. We had the disappointment last season but there is no reason we can’t bounce back and hopefully make it a special one this time around,” he said. “We want to get back in the Premier League. We want to win the Championship. There is no reason we can’t and I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t say that. It will be tough and there are a lot of good teams at this level but that is the aim and there are enough lads here who have experienced promotion.”
Surman spent most of the previous season on the south coast where he worked with Neil Adams’ first summer signing Lewis Grabban at close quarters. The cultured midfielder is convinced Grabban will be equally effective leading the line at Carrow Road.
“He is sharp. No question,” he said. “It is always difficult to make judgements in pre-season because players really just want to get their fitness and get used to playing with new players when you first come into a club, but he can do it all.
“He will look to get in behind and down the sides of defences, he has goals in him and he is a very good player who I am sure will do well for Norwich. Last season he showed at Bournemouth he can create and score goals out of nothing cutting in from those wide areas. He has a decent shot on him and if he gets one-on-one with the defender you always back him to score.”
Cherries’ boss Eddie Howe was keen to keep Surman at Dean Court after his impressive impact but the midfielder remains at Norwich’s disposal for now as he approaches the final year of his current deal.
“It’s still a bit uncertain at the moment,” he said. “I have got my head down and tried to work to my best and we’ll see what happens. I would never come back and have a negative attitude about the situation.
“I’m sure that is the same for a few players. Right now, we’re not sure who is coming in and who is going out, but as I was saying there is a good team spirit here and every day we go and work hard.
“The main thing for me at this stage of my career, I’m 27 now, is that I need to be playing regularly. I want to play as much as I can off the back of a season where I played 30 odd games so it would be a change to then sit in the stands. I’m no different to every player and we’ll see what the pre-season brings.”