David Fox unsatisfied by his Norwich City form
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For some fans he is the heartbeat of Norwich City's current side - but David Fox is far from satisfied with his season's work to date.
After playing his part in the opening day draw at Wigan, the former Manchester United trainee had to waiting until the Canaries’ trip to Bolton before making a second Premier League appearance.
Since then, Paul Lambert’s starting XI has been unchanged – with results in the five games including the Reebok visit seeing City only drop points at Old Trafford and Anfield.
Rather than playing at the base of a midfield diamond like last season, this term Fox has a holding midfielder alongside him in Bradley Johnson – and while Fox is making the most of his new position, his desire to improve is difficult to ignore at close hand.
“I feel OK – I still think there’s a lot more to come from me,” said the 27-year-old. “I’m not really satisfied at the minute, I still think I can do a lot more. But I am pleased with the results since I’ve come into the team, I am pleased with that aspect.
“You always feel you can do more and there are always people that want to take your place, so you have to produce more each time otherwise there will be people who come in who can do just as good a job as you.”
With a 4-2-3-1 shape, Lambert appears to have found the best way to utilise Wes Hoolahan, as well as flying wingers Anthony Pilkington and Elliott Bennett – two summer arrivals that have lit up the Canaries’ top-flight return.
“The new system seems to have worked so far, with the results we have had,” said Fox.
“It’s been good to play in. It’s completely different to what I played last year for the club; I’m still probably finding my feet myself in terms of playing a new position again.
“But it’s one I’m enjoying and I think with Wes in there as well it makes us a lot more solid and harder to break down, but when we attack we’ll try to get forward in numbers.
“And if you’ve got wide players like Pilks and Benno you’ve got to try and get it out to them as much as you can. That’s my job in the middle, to let them have free rein to do what they want, because the pace and trickery they’ve got they are going to cause teams problems.
“Their quality from wide is brilliant and their ability to take the ball up the pitch, which is very good. Like on Saturday, when we are under the cosh a bit, if you’ve got Pilks and Benno running the ball 60 yards up the pitch it doesn’t half give your defence a bit of a breather.
“It’s a good outlet for us to have them on the ball, and Pilks’ cross was brilliant for Holty, so it’s good for the strikers to know that when the ball is out there they are going to get quality coming in.
“And if we make the game stretched and get it wide then it makes more space in the middle for myself, Jonno and Wes. That’s what we are trying to do, trying to play an expansive game and get it out wide, get crosses in.
“It has worked all right at the minute, and hopefully it can continue to.”
Last season, Fox’s third appearance in yellow came at Blackburn Rovers in a 3-1 Carling Cup defeat – 14 months later, and most will be expecting City to put the top flight’s bottom side to bed at Carrow Road. The change in fortunes at both clubs is clear.
“We were massive underdogs going up there last year, we got turned over and I think after the game the manager said he didn’t think we believed we could win it,” added Fox.
“So that does show how far we’ve come, that we go into this match thinking we should get a win here. It’s a massive rise for us but we are under no illusions that the last time we played them we got battered. We know full well it’s going to be a tough game but we are at home this time and hopefully we’ll put on a good performance.”