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Michael Turner warns Norwich City must handle the weight of expectation

Norwich City defender Michael Turner is ready for whatever the Championship can throw at the Canaries. Picture by Stefano Gnech/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City defender Michael Turner is ready for whatever the Championship can throw at the Canaries. Picture by Stefano Gnech/Focus Images Ltd

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Norwich City defender Michael Turner insists the Canaries must handle the pressure of being one of the Championship’s promotion fancies.

Neil Adams’ squad, along with fellow relegated sides Cardiff and Fulham, will aim to be involved at the sharp end come next May and ahead of Sunday’s league opener at Wolves Turner accepts City must embrace that expectation.

“We’re a big club in this league, we know that makes us a target but we ourselves are expecting to do well,” he said. “We have got the quality in the squad to do well. It is going to be a tough season. I know that. You play a lot of games, a lot of midweek matches, and you do feel like it is going to be Saturday, Tuesday all the time.

“It is tough mentally and physically but hopefully we have got the squad in place and the boys are committed to get it right.”

Turner returns to the second tier for the first time since playing a major role in Hull City’s Championship play-off success back in 2008 and the centre back knows what lies in store.

“Yes, you would be talking six years ago now but I’m not sure if it will have changed all that much,” he said. “I would imagine the quality has picked up a little bit because there are obviously some quality players and good teams and there is probably a different style of football you have to play compared to the Premier League. Certainly at times you will have to roll your sleeves up more, maybe a little bit more of a scrap, but I have no fears we can do that. We are capable of passing it around and hurting teams that way as well, so I think we have got a lot to our armoury and that will stand in good stead.”

Norwich have scored plenty of goals during pre-season, with Lewis Grabban impressing since his summer move from Bournemouth, but the defender knows they will also have to be resolute at the back.

“We are certainly pleased with the amount of goals we have scored in pre-season, that is for sure,” he said. “We need to get the balance right, though, between attacking and defending but we will be working hard. You have seen in the last few friendlies what Lewis is all about. He has looked quality and you can see what he brings to the team. Another two goals for him (against Celta) was great on a personal level in terms of his confidence and also for the team and we all hope he can continue that.”

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