Drury has plenty to prove on his return
Chris Lakey Adam Drury is ready to repay the faith that Glenn Roeder and his staff have placed in him - by giving the City boss a selection headache. The left-back returned to the Championship fold in Saturday's 1-0 home win over Sheffield United - his first league appearance since Roeder took charge at the end of October last year.
Adam Drury is ready to repay the faith that Glenn Roeder and his staff have placed in him - by giving the City boss a selection headache.
The left-back returned to the Championship fold in Saturday's 1-0 home win over Sheffield United - his first league appearance since Roeder took charge at the end of October last year.
Since then Roeder has been merciless in showing a clutch of Drury's former team-mates the exit door - but the former Canaries skipper survived through a long recovery from a career-threatening knee injury.
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And now City's longest-serving player is ready to stake his claim for a regular place in Roeder's team - admitting it was like starting all over again.
“It almost feels like my debut again,” said Drury, who suffered knee ligament damage during the game against Bristol City last season, the first of Jim Duffy's three-game stint as caretaker manager.
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“I've had to prove myself first and foremost. I hadn't trained under him (Roeder) or played under him until this season at all, but him and the staff have all been fantastic with me.
“They have said they like me as a player and they like me as a person and on top of that you have to go out and prove you can play, so hopefully I am starting to prove that.”
Ryan Bertrand, who was moved into midfield for Saturday's game, had taken on left-back duties in Drury's absence, but Roeder now faces an intriguing selection question.
“The boss has said all along he wants two players for every position and he has got that more or less now and if you have a bad game or a couple of bad games you know you are not going to be in the side,” said Drury.
“It's the same in training. Training day in, day out you have to perform to your best to get yourself into the team. Once you are in the team it is up to you to keep hold of your shirt and you have a battle on.”
Drury - who will be 30 next Monday - as the older statesman in a reshuffled defence, and paid tribute to young centre-backs Elliott Omozusi and Jonathan Grounds, who proved able replacements for the injured John Kennedy and Dejan Stefanovic.
“I thought they did superb,” said Drury. “In any game you want a clean sheet and we haven't had one this season, and with two centre halves and basically a whole new back four it was fantastic to keep a clean sheet - I thought the two centre halves did fantastic.
“Obviously being the oldest there is more responsibility but I was blowing a bit so at times I couldn't talk to them - but they are all great players themselves and they know how to play the game and it's just keeping them on their toes. Everyone played really, really well and we justified the win.”
Drury's comeback to league football lasted 68 minutes, when he finally succumbed to cramp - although Lee Croft's injury-time winner didn't help his recovery.
“I was getting cramp again jumping up and down in the dug-out - it was a great goal from Crofty and he's been like that in training for the last month or so,” he said. “They have been encouraging him to shoot more. It was great to see it go in and I think we thoroughly deserved it.
“We had a few chances during the game - Sibby (Antoine Sibierski) had a great chance and their keeper made a great save from him and we were pushing and pushing and Marshy (David Marshall) kept us in the game with a great save near the end which was unbelievable. Then Crofty went down the other end and whipped one in with his left foot, which we probably won't see again.
“It was a great day, obviously because we won, it makes it that bit special.
“I was a bit nervous when we started and I enjoyed every minute of it. When you have an injury like I did and it's touch and go and people wonder whether you will ever play again it is great to be back out here playing, and to win 1-0 and keep a clean sheet as well makes it a bit better.”