Hanley a big fan of new City star

Grant Hanley is leading from the front in Norwich City's push for the Premier League

Grant Hanley is leading from the front in Norwich City's push for the Premier League - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Andrew Omobamidele has the Grant Hanley seal of approval after forging an impressive double act at the heart of Norwich City’s backline. 

The teenage defender was thrust into the first team spotlight following injuries to Ben Gibson and Christoph Zimmermann, but has looked assured alongside the captain. 

Now the Scotland international has given his verdict on Omobamidele’s mature displays against Preston and the midweek 7-0 romp over Huddersfield.   

“He better not get used to it because it’s not like this every week in the Championship, as you know,” joked Hanley. “But I think he’s been brilliant. His temperament, how composed he’s been, he’s been outstanding really. 

“As with all the young lads that come through, I don’t know what they do but they always seem to be so calm and ready to take their opportunity. 

“I think he really has been outstanding, he’s cruised through it. Like the boss has said, he deserved his chance and he’s taken it when it’s come along.” 

Hanley also had words of encouragement for his young sidekick, who was the subject of an impromptu coaching session from Farke immediately after the final whistle of the Terriers’ mauling. 

Andrew Omobamidele is impressing Grant Hanley

Andrew Omobamidele is impressing Grant Hanley - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

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“He’s still like that with me as well, telling me where something’s gone wrong,” he said. “That’s what the boss is, he’s always going to do that, there’ll always be something that he’s not happy with, there’s always something we can improve on. 

“That’s part of it and that’s why we’re always looking to get better.” 

Hanley accepts nights like Huddersfield do not come along often but wants to get back down to business at Derby with promotion in their grasp. 

City’s Premier League return could be confirmed this weekend if they beat the Rams and both Brentford and Swansea slip up. 

“Let’s just concentrate on Saturday, like we have done all season. That’s been the mentality and the attitude,” he said. “We know every week that if we turn up with the right attitude and right work rate, play our stuff, then we’ve got a good chance of three points. 

“We’ll enjoy this one because it’s a good result for us but we’ll go again Saturday, concentrate on ourselves like we have done all season. 

“That’s the most important thing, that we look after ourselves and what everybody else does, that’s up to them. 

“We’ve been very narrow minded in our approach to every game, we fully believe in what we’re doing and withy the quality we’ve got we know we’ll have a chance, and that’s the way it will be until the end of the season.” 

The 29-year-old has gone above and beyond in recent days after playing three full games for Scotland around a gruelling Championship schedule. Hanley admitted turning out at Preston on Good Friday less than 48 hours after a World Cup qualifier for his country was tough. 

“I was tired but you can’t complain because there have been times in my career where I’ve not been playing as much as I want to,” he said. “You’ve got to keep your head down and carry on, do as much as you can to be ready to perform as best as you can. 

“You get to the stage where physically you’re alright. Playing the games every two or three days probably suits your body a bit more because you’re in the rhythm. 

“But it’s more mentally, it’s tough mentally, that quick turnaround with playing for Scotland, travelling, another preparation meeting and taking in all the information on how the team is going to play. 

“That’s probably the tough part but it’s a part of the league, it’s how it’s always been. It’s been a bit different this season because it’s been more condensed but I think mentally is the biggest challenge and getting yourself ready for another 90 minutes and being totally switched on, totally focused, is the biggest part of it.” 

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