Gary O’Neil issues a Championship warning to his new Norwich City team mates
Norwich City’s newest signing Gary O’Neil has warned the Canaries they must strive to hit the ground running in Sunday’s Championship opener at Wolves.
O’Neil will be sat in the stands at Molineux serving a one-game ban for his red card in QPR’s successful Wembley Championship play-off final victory over Derby in May.
The 31-year-old signed a two-year deal with the Canaries earlier this week after his Rangers’ release and his recent experience of the second tier leaves him well-placed to suggest what it will take for Neil Adams’ squad to emulate the Londoners and bounce back at the first attempt.
“It’s a tough league, it’s a long season. It’s key we get off to a good start,” he said. “Obviously I miss the first one at Wolves with a suspension but I will be there and I will watch the lads and its key there is no hangover. You have to hit the ground running. We were lucky enough last year to do that at QPR and then we stumbled a touch later but the start will be key.
“Norwich is keen to get back to the Premier League, they get fantastic support and everyone I have spoken to have said what a great club it is to play for and a great area to live in. I’m looking forward to a really good year.”
O’Neil was also touted with a summer switch to City’s Championship rivals Reading before agreeing to a Carrow Road move.
“I’m really pleased to be here and to get it all done. I had the medical and signed on Monday evening and I managed to train with the lads on Tuesday and I am just ready to get going now,” he told the club’s official site. “I haven’t probably played as many games as the rest of the lads (this summer).
“I played two lots of 45 minutes at QPR so I am lacking in game time but I feel good and if I can keep training and then get the odd game in before I start to be involved with the first team.
“The training ground is a good set-up and the squad has plenty of good players so I have been impressed. The gaffer seems enthusiastic and the coaching staff are nice to work with.
“They are well-organised but you are never really sure how it is going to go until you cross that white line at Wolves. I’m sure we’ll be up there with the best of them.”