'It's been fantastic' - Tettey so relieved he didn't leave Canaries after return to Premier League battle
It could all have been so different for Alex Tettey but now Norwich City's longest serving current player is right back in the thick of Premier League battle.
The combative midfielder was a regular player during Daniel Farke's first season in charge but his contract was coming to an end. He did eventually commit to a two-year deal and it proved a fine decision - helping City win the Championship title and promotion.
"I was just a short moment from not signing that contract but you never know what the future holds," Tettey said with a big smile.
"It's been fantastic, the best two years of my life!"
Now aged 33, the former Norway international had his pre-season disrupted by a calf problem and had only made one appearance as a substitute during the opening weeks of the season.
However, he was pressed back into action on Saturday amid an injury crisis and added valuable experience and physicality, wearing the captain's armband as the Canaries earned a special 3-2 triumph over reigning champions Manchester City.
"It's different now, with the way we play and with all these young players," said Tettey, comparing to his three previous Premier League campaigns with Norwich. "It's different and it makes me happy when I see the way that we play and how everyone is being together and working hard.
"We cheer together whether you play or are in the stands, everyone is working towards the same goal.
"It's a good unit and we will see where we end up but it's a tough league. To beat Man City, for me, it is incredible, I have no other words - we had 11 players injured, it is unbelievable! When we play against world stars and the way we played at times, not panicking and defending well, everyone throwing their bodies on the line when they needed to, it's unbelievable."
It was an exhausting 90 minutes for Tettey, particularly as he missed much of the second half of last season with an ankle injury.
"It's not easy when you have just had five minutes of football since Villa (on the final day of last season), when I got 45 minutes." he added. "It was fun, it was tough but it's good that we train hard so I was physically a little bit prepared for it. But still when you haven't played football it sometimes shows, but I got out of it okay."