Spillane brings winning mentality back from relegated Luton
PUBLISHED: 07:00 11 July 2009 | UPDATED: 16:21 10 September 2010
Michael Spillane says it's about time he nailed down a specialists position within the Norwich City squad. The 20-year-old is back in the Carrow Road fold after a season away on loan at doomed Luton Town - half of which was spent at centre-back and half at right-back.
Michael Spillane says it's about time he nailed down a specialists position within the Norwich City squad.
The 20-year-old is back in the Carrow Road fold after a season away on loan at doomed Luton Town - half of which was spent at centre-back and half at right-back.
Spillane has started just 10 league games for City, although arguably his most impressive performance came in the Carling Cup at Manchester City in September, 2007 - in central midfield.
Throw in the dual roles for Luton last season and Spillane is clearly something of a jack of all trades - but now wants to be master of one.
"I still don't really know, I think I should nail down a position and should just be able to play other positions if needed," he said. "I need to nail down a position now for the gaffer and the staff to decide where they want to play me."
The danger is that Mr Versatile also becomes Mr Substitute
"People say what position do you actually play and if you ask me I'd say I am probably a centre-back that can play right-back and midfield so hopefully I can nail down a position."
Spillane is likely to get a chance in all three roles during pre-season, but says the arrival of two new midfielders and a central defender and speculation of more to follow doesn't worry him.
"It's just football," he said. "There are players going to come, there are players going to go, it happens at every football club. If the manager gets the best players in it is only good for us and the club so obviously I would rather he gets the best players he possibly can so we go up."
Among the competition for the new season will be some who have followed a similar path through the Academy ranks - central defenders Dario Dumic and David Stephens, midfielders Tom Adeyemi and Korey Smith among them.
"They are a year or two younger than me," Spillane said. "I went through the same they are going through and hopefully they will get a few games like I did and hopefully become a first team regular."
Spillane had to go away for a season, albeit reluctantly, when former boss Glenn Roeder very publicly accused him and fellow Luton loan player Chris Martin of immaturity.
"I have nothing bad to say about it, it did me the world of good," he said. "I can only say that if they got the chance to, it would be good, but then again if they are going to play here there is no better way to gain first team experience than by playing at Norwich. Looking back now I'm glad I did go because I had a good season. I was a bit surprised because I only had a year left on my contract, but I was glad to get some games and learn."
Spillane did well at Luton, but couldn't prevent their relegation from League Two - a fate which was always on the cards after they started the season with a 30-point deduction for financial irregularities.
"It was tough - every game we had to win so every game we went out with a formation that was just going to win. It was good experience," he said. "The biggest thing I learned was the mentality of winning, the feeling of winning in the changing room, not just playing and taking part but how much it means to win.
"We need a lot of players with a winning mentality, for whom it means a lot to win, even in training. I think there are a lot of players here with that."