Brown raring to go

Chris Brown has vowed to shake off the tag of forgotten man at Carrow Road and establish himself in Norwich City's first team next season.

Chris Brown has vowed to shake off the tag of forgotten man at Carrow Road and establish himself in Norwich City's first team next season.

The 22-year-old striker endured a miserable five months after moving south from Sunderland in January.

Only six starts, one red card and no goals were the sum total of his achievements before injury curtailed his campaign - hardly the return Peter Grant was looking for from his £325,000.

But Brown insists he will come back a better player - and says the speculation linking City with the purchase of new striker is simply spurring him on.

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"It was just so disappointing," said Brown. "I didn't play as well as I could, I knew I could do a lot, lot better.

"But this time around I am determined to have a good season.

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"There will be competition but all competition is healthy. Players look forward to it - I know I am, because having to fight for your place makes you a better player.

"I know there is talk of strikers coming in, but I believe in my own ability and I think that is what the manager wants to see, players who are up for the challenge. I believe I can do a job and that if I work hard I will persuade him to play me in the team.

"It's a case of getting back to it, being focused on what I need to do - and that's what I will be doing to try and get in the team."

Brown was brought in by manager Peter Grant to create a little and large strike duo with Robert Earnshaw - a plan which went belly up when the Welshman was ruled out for three months by an injury of his own.

Six weeks later, Brown had already played his last game of the season, with a back problem manifesting itself in a hamstring injury that seemed to gradually get worse before it got better.

However, Brown says he's over the problem.

"I feel 100pc now," he said. "It took a while to get to the root of the problem but I knew as soon as I did it that it was not the normal hamstring strain because it was all coming from my back.

"In the end we decided to see someone I had seen before and after one or two injections it seemed to do the trick and the problems eased off.

"I trained a couple of times towards the end of the season just to get some fitness back but I don't think I had much chance of being ready to play a game. It was a case of leaving it and getting everything together over the summer."

Brown has now encountered one of City's famous fitness programmes - and admits he was left open-mouthed when he first saw his vigorous regime.

"When you first see it, it's like, wow," he laughed. "It looks frightening, but to be absolutely honest you start to get into it and as you start getting fitter you start enjoying the work that you're doing and that enjoyment just makes you look forward to the start of the season.

"Trouble is, I can hardly wait for the season to start now."

Both City and Brown need good starts to put last season behind them, and the player is praying that he can end his wait for his first goal for the club.

"There is nothing better than being in a winning team," he said. "You come into training and everybody is buzzing and raring to go, so a good start is vital.

"For me, getting a goal is going to be a massive issue. I need to get that monkey off my back and hopefully both the team and me personally can get off to the right start and take it from there."

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