Surman: Norwich City need not fear anyone in league
Fit-again midfielder Andrew Surman believes Norwich City need fear no one in the Championship – after getting his first senior outing for nearly three months.
The 24-year-old won a surprise recall against Leeds United after being sidelined by a knee injury he suffered in training in early September.
The Canaries have now met all but five of their league opponents, and although Surman has had only a fan's eye view of most of them, he insists he is part of one of the best squads in the division.
'I think even being eighth we're probably a little bit disappointed,' he said, after playing just over an hour of the 1-1 draw against Leeds.
'We feel like we've had a good start and there are teams we maybe should have beaten but we've ended up drawing and dropping points – like at Reading, going down to 10 men and we should have won the game.
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'I don't think there is anyone to fear. I think we're one of the top teams in this league but it's just about putting runs together, runs of wins.
'It's been a good start. We find ourselves looking up, rather than down, which is always a great thing, It's so tight at the moment, one win could put you up two or three places and a loss or a draw can drop you down.
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'But we're there or thereabouts. We've been unbeaten in the last four games and if we can build on that with a couple of wins we'll be right back up there.
City have drawn all four games in November, despite playing some impressive football.
'You almost feel sometimes like you've lost a game when you've drawn it because it's two points dropped. Leeds have come here and are a good side, but I think especially on our second half display we fully deserved to win,' said Surman.
Manager Paul Lambert said on Friday that his summer signing from Wolves would not be ready to face Leeds, but then recalled him in the absence of the injured Korey Smith and Matthew Gill, with Anthony McNamee switching flanks to accommodate Surman on the left.
'It was a huge call,' said Lambert. 'He has been out for three months or so. He has only played 45 minutes in a reserve game, but I spoke to him the other day and asked him how he felt and he felt good and that hour would have done him the world of good - but I thought when he was on the pitch he was class.
'I don't have to wrap him up now. I just took him off because I have got to protect him as well. I thought when I took him off he was right on top of his game, but I was doing it to protect him for the games that are coming up.
'I thought some of his passing and movement of the football was really brilliant and it is a big plus for us for him to come back.'
Surman confirmed: 'It's great to be back. It's been eight or nine weeks and it's been absolutely killing me,' said Surman.
'It's the worst thing being injured, any player will tell you, but just to be back involved today and to get a start was brilliant.
'I felt in myself I was starting to find a bit of form just before I got injured and it's always frustrating not playing and when you want to make a mark at a new club it's even worse.
'But this happens in a player's career. It's part of being a footballer and you hope it doesn't happen to you but it's happened to me.'
He admitted he was 'a little bit surprised' to be on the teamsheet.
'It was quite soon since I've been back from my injury, but in my own head I wanted to be back in the team as quickly as I could so when the opportunity came along today it was great for me.
'I didn't feel too bad, actually. You never know how you're going to feel. You do all the running and the work in the gym and your rehab but you never know until you play the game.
'I felt good. I felt quite sharp in training the few days I've trained. It was always going to take a little while to get up to the pace of the game but I felt all right.
'On the second half display I think we should have won it, but a point is better than nothing.'
Ipswich at home on Sunday in the televised derby could be Surman's next test.
'Games like today and local derbies are games you relish. The atmosphere is electric and all the players are up for it – it will be a really good test,' he said.