No hidden agenda behind Seb Bassong’s Norwich City Premier League snub
06:45 14 April 2014
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Neil Adams insists Seb Bassong will play his part in Norwich’s Premier League run-in after embarking on a new era at Craven Cottage without the Canaries’ team captain.
Bassong was the highest profile casualty of the new manager’s major revamp to the City line-up. Michael Turner and Russell Martin were preferred in central defence as part of six changes to the side that lost against West Brom. Johan Elmander, Jonas Gutierrez and Luciano Becchio were also left out of the matchday squad as Adams looked to put his stamp on the side.
“I just felt from what I had seen and Fulham’s set-up Russ and Michael would be better suited. There is no agenda there,” he said. “Seb is a fantastic player and I have told him we will need him and he is the team captain. He hasn’t been stripped of the captaincy or anything like that. When he plays, he is the captain. Obviously he didn’t play here so Russell was captain.
“Seb is a big part of this team. I don’t think any player would be happy not to be playing so, of course, I would imagine he is not happy. You have a huge pool of players and Seb was in the changing room wishing the lads all the best and he wants it as much as the others. That is the spirit we have and are going to need.
“Seb is fit. He is fine. He had a bit of a problem after West Brom but he trained most of the week and he was just not selected. We need every player. We will need them all for these games.”
Adams did elect to fast-track Leroy Fer back into his starting plans after a hamstring injury, with the Dutchman inevitably tiring after the break.
“That was a massive boost because he is a fantastic player. He was running on empty and he had given anything,” said Adams. “I thought he looked good, he was strong, he was giving us a good presence in midfield and he had not played for six weeks or so. It was a huge boost and he did himself justice with his inclusion.
“Any changes we made were tactical. You look at the opposition and you have to come up with a plan to hurt them. I felt we did that. We passed it well, there was good movement, we got into the final third countless times, we progressed our play through the thirds and it just would not go in.
“It is about organisation. You have to try and hurt the opposition and then pick the players to fit the game plan. We worked on it all week and I asked them to give everything and they did.”