Defender demands City forget about the Premier League and focus on Huddersfield

Christoph Zimmermann says City won't be thinking too far ahead when they begin their Championship campaign this weekend 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Christoph Zimmermann says City won't be thinking too far ahead when they begin their Championship campaign this weekend Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Matt Bradshaw

Thoughts about a Premier League return for Norwich City must be put on the back-burner for the time being.

Canaries defender Christoph Zimmermann desperately wants another crack at the top flight – but knows just how difficult it is to build a promotion campaign in the Championship.

“We’ve all had a sniff of Premier League football last season, obviously shorter than every one of us expected, and once you have been there the plan is to go back,” said the centre-back.

“But first of all we need to take it game by game, not thinking about that we could be back there next year.

“First of all it’s Huddersfield, after it’s Preston and then Bournemouth. So three very, very tough opponents to start the league against and that’s our reality now - we’re not playing the opening game at Anfield this season.”

The 27-year-old has made 111 appearances since joining from Borussia Dortmund II in 2017, but after overcoming the knee, ankle and hamstring injuries which disrupted his season in the Premier League the German is hoping to regain his previous good form in the second tier.

“It’s gone quickly and it’s changed a lot over the last couple of years,” Zimmermann said after an under-strength City side lost 3-1 at Luton in the League Cup.

“Even with a quite poor game (at Luton), I wouldn’t want to go back! Especially after last year I was a bit unfortunate with injuries and I’ve learned that my body has become a little bit older in English football, so I need to make sure I look after myself as well as Alex Tettey does, for hopefully many more years.”

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The loss saw keeper Daniel Barden making his debut, but Zimmermann felt the 19-year-old wasn’t to blame for any of the goals conceded.

He added: “A lot of things had to come together, with Tim (Krul) and Micky (McGovern) on international duty, Archie (Mair) as well, Aston (Oxborough) injured.

“But he has done well and I think he’s played a good game. He couldn’t do anything with the goals he conceded, he’s been vocal from behind and he’s been helping us play out from the back as well.

“I was very happy for him that he did well in his first game, but quite gutted for him with the result in his first game.”

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