Remi Matthews admits City exit felt like a ‘kick in the teeth’
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Bolton Wanderers keeper Remi Matthews revealed leaving boyhood club Norwich City felt like a ‘kick in the teeth’.
The Gorleston-bred stopper completed a permanent move last month, and was on the wrong end of a 4-0 hammering in his first reunion on Saturday.
Matthews’ display averted an even heavier defeat for the relegation-threatened Trotters, capped by his penalty stop from Kenny McLean.
Tim Krul’s arrival last summer signalled the end of the 25-year-old’s hopes of a first team breakthrough at Carrow Road.
“It was a tough decision and probably one of the hardest things I have had to do,” he said. “It was my team growing up and the main thing for me was playing for that football club. However, I have no regrets about the decision I made.
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“I could have stayed there when I went back in January, but I wanted to come back (to Bolton) and push to play regularly.
“I believe it was the right time (to leave). You can only go out on loan so many times before you get to the stage where you say, ‘Am I going to have a chance at this football club?’
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“Norwich gave me the chance to progress and go out and play games.
“They gave me a professional contract and played a massive part in where I am today, progression-wise. I cannot speak highly enough of them.
“It may not have panned out the way I’d have hoped this season, with regards to playing football, but that is football. It was a kick in the teeth, but you have to learn to move on from these things.”
Matthews, interviewed in the Bolton match programme ahead of Norwich’s weekend league visit, remains convinced the Trotters will survive.
“The spirit in the dressing room is very, very good considering where we are at and we’re confident we can turn it around,” he said.
“We all stick together and there have been times where I have been at other clubs and it hasn’t being going well and all of a sudden people are turning against each other.
“It has been enjoyable and a relief to make my Championship debut this season after having a good year in League One. It is a lot different and if anything, it makes you realise how lucky you are to play at such a high level.
“Being 25 now though and finally making my bow in the Championship was a relief.
“I would like to think that I have a good strong 10 to 12 years left if my body holds up.”