No regrets from Duda over failed City move

Ondrej Duda was unable to help spark a Premier League great escape at Norwich City Picture: Paul Che

Ondrej Duda was unable to help spark a Premier League great escape at Norwich City Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Ondrej Duda does not regret his loan stint at Norwich City.

The Slovakian international is already back in pre-season training at Hertha Berlin, after returning to Germany once the Canaries’ Premier League relegation was confirmed.

Duda joined Norwich in January after falling out of favour under previous coach Jurgen Klinsmann, but had a limited impact in a sour stint at Carrow Road.

The 25-year-old attacking midfielder was unable to score in 12 appearances for City, although his goalbound effort on his Premier League debut against Bournemouth did lead to Teemu Pukki’s match-winning penalty.

Duda is now striving for a fresh start under Hertha coach Bruno Labbadia, and claimed the standard of football in the English top flight was no higher than the Bundesliga.

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“I didn’t play as much as I expected, but I was treated well,” he said, speaking at a press briefing on Wednesday. “I thought it would be more difficult, but the level is the same. The Bundesliga is more tactical, the games in the Premier League are more open.

“It was a great experience for me. There were two different phases: before and during coronavirus. It wasn’t the best situation in the club, but I liked it there. Everyone was friendly and I can only thank them for how they treated me.

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“I chose the difficult path. The coach (Klinsmann) told me that I won’t play no matter how well I train. It wasn’t an escape. I wanted to fight for my place, but the coach didn’t plan with me and I’m at an age where I need to be playing games.

“Back then he told me directly that the chances were not very good that I would play for Hertha under him. On the one hand, I was a little surprised. On the other hand, he was honest and I appreciated that because it gave me time to find a new club to play with. I have no problems with it.

“It’s a new team, a new coach. I’m a professional so it’s all good. Much has changed. But I don’t have the feeling that I have to restart Hertha now. I’m just going to do what I did before. I’ll try my best and I’m still the same guy.”

The new Bundesliga season begins on the weekend of September 18.

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