17th or better in the Premier League would be just fine – McNally

Norwich City chief executive David McNally is confident the Canaries can mix it with the Premier League elite.

City have already been touted by bookmakers and pundits alike for a quick return to the Championship ahead of the August 13 opener at Wigan. Paul Lambert became the first manager in a decade to successfully guide a club into the top flight on the back of consecutive promotions – and McNally insists City plan to stay there.

He said: “We will aim to behave as a club just the same as we have done over the previous two years. We know we are going into the biggest and the best league in the world with 19 top class teams. But we need to remember what we did to get us here and the principles and the disciplines we put in place to ensure this club could move from League One to the Premier League in two years.

“It’s about finishing 17th or better, it’s about the players and Paul earning the right to stay in the league, and we’re very confident that, with the right preparation, we can do that.

“The only target is to stay in the league, 17th or better would be absolutely fine. Paul and his team have done brilliantly over two years. The rise has been monumental, record-breaking in many respects, but now we’re in the big league and we need to try and stay in it. Whatever the points total is we need to finish 17th, that’s the aim.”

City have been among the most proactive in the early summer transfer market with James Vaughan, Steve Morison and last week Elliott Bennett joining the club’s top flight crusade. The Canaries also completed a season long loan move for Manchester United defender Ritchie De Laet late on Friday. Prior to the Belgian’s arrival, McNally had confirmed Lambert sought two further additions before City’s senior stars return for pre-season.

He said: “We’re pleased we have signed three and we are confident we can complete another two before the lads come back for pre-season training which is the first week of July. That would give us five new faces, there might be one or two more after then, but the aim always was to land Paul’s top five targets prior to the start of first team training so they can have a full pre-season with their colleagues before the season starts in early August.

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“It’s all about investing to take us forward. There maybe one or two who leave in order to gain first team football elsewhere and that is understandable and perhaps normal with a club that has risen quickly from League One to the Premier League.”

McNally also reiterated in a Skysports interview the club’s hierarchy will look to try and make minor increases to the Carrow Road capacity before the big kick off in order to meet some of the huge extra demand. He said: “We had to cap season tickets while still a Championship club. We cut them at 22,000, we don’t have many seats left to sell for any fixture next year so there’ll be significant demand. We’ll do what we can this summer to help the supporters, though, by trying to find a few extra seats where we can, but that’ll be a marginal increase.”