‘They have got to have faith’ – Former striker on Canaries signings and Premier League return
- Credit: Jason Dawson/JASONPIX
There will be tough days ahead – but Chris Sutton hopes Norwich City fans will see the bigger picture on their Premier League return.
The EFL champions are now less than five weeks away from kicking off the 2019-20 top-flight campaign with a daunting assignment at Liverpool.
Former Canaries striker Sutton knows from his own playing experience at Carrow Road in the inaugural Premier League campaign of 1992-93, what it takes to upset the established football order.
However, he hopes the City supporters will understand what awaits Daniel Farke's squad - and have the patience to keep faith with the plan that secured their top-flight return in the first place.
Sutton said: "It's an obvious thing to say that they are not going to get any easy games. I just hope Norwich come into the season with confidence - and I'm sure they will - but keep that confidence because the truth is at times, there will be heavy beatings.
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"They will get those because that's the nature of it. You go up against the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool… But just maybe, if they are lucky enough - or rather good enough - to get a start like we did when we were playing at Arsenal in 1992 and get a decent result, then who knows?
"I think everyone is realistic enough to know it's going to be a tough season - but this is where the supporters and all of us want to be. There just needs to be a realisation that Norwich aren't going to push for Europe this season - success would be staying in the Premier League.
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"Norwich can't go and spend £100m like Fulham did last summer, and neither should we - but that's where I do think there needs to be the realisation from the support that there are going to be some tough days.
"The key is staying in the Premier League and then building slowly. And in the manager, they have got to have faith."
Sutton, also a pundit for BT Sport's Scottish Premiership coverage, has admitted his surprise at the impact made by former Celtic striker Teemu Pukki last season at City - and now has a curious eye cast over another ex-Bhoy preparing to get going at Carrow Road.
"The most interesting thing for me really is Norwich's style of play, which I thoroughly enjoyed in the Championship - and how they adapt," added Sutton.
"I think they will have to do that in the Premier League because it's all well and good being positive and hoping Norwich play in a positive manner, but there may be some painful days if that's the case. It doesn't get any harder than Liverpool first game of the season.
"In terms of strikers, I think you have a striker in Teemu Pukki who scores a lot of goals - and certainly proved me wrong in a Norwich City shirt from what I saw of him north of the border. But I've been there myself in my career where things don't go well for you at one club, you move on and credit to Teemu.
"Goals will clearly be a crucial part of it next season and the signing of Josip Drmic is an interesting one in terms of strength in depth - I don't think Norwich will play with two up - and with competition for places, I think Norwich did have to bring players in and freshen things up. It's always good when teams do that.
"The other signing who's interesting is Patrick Roberts. I saw a lot of him at Celtic, really talented player and lost his way a little bit last season if truth be told. How he fits in? I think his best position is playing off the wide right and coming inside on his left foot."
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