Even Michael Turner admits the Championship is suiting him down to the ground, following Norwich City’s derby win
20:21 24 August 2014
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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.
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.”
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