Drury warns Norwich City: 'It will be tough'
Michael Bailey The Championship will prove to be a tougher place to compete than when Norwich City were relegated, according to Adam Drury. Plenty of Canaries supporters will be hoping City can quickly become a force in English football's second tier after securing its immediate return, especially with manager Paul Lambert and his League One title winners carrying the club's hopes - plus whoever comes in during the summer.
The Championship will prove to be a tougher place to compete than when Norwich City were relegated, according to Adam Drury.
Plenty of Canaries supporters will be hoping City can quickly become a force in English football's second tier after securing its immediate return, especially with manager Paul Lambert and his League One title winners carrying the club's hopes - plus whoever comes in during the summer.
But Drury, who is due to complete a decade at Carrow Road next season, believes the Canaries will have to expect a big task on their hands when the new season begins - with the likes of Middlesbrough, Hull, Portsmouth, Leeds, Leicester and the Championship regulars all set to be tricky customers.
“I think it will be tougher than when we left, there is definitely a gap,” said Drury. “And there is a bigger gap than what I expected coming down and playing in League One.
“But we've got good players in our team, we have proved that this year. You don't win the league like we have with a fluke. We've got good players in our side and we'll adapt to next season and you never know what we can do.”
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However, the left-back did admit managing expectations will be a tricky balance through the summer.
The Canaries still have plenty to prove in the second tier after leaving with a whimper 12 months ago, while Leicester City's return after their own League One title success brought about a Championship top six finish this season - their Premier League promotion hopes ended by a semi-final penalty shoot-out in Cardiff.
“It is a tough one, because you don't want to just try and hang on,” said Drury. “At the same time you don't want to set things too high where people get carried away, because you always run that risk.
“After what we have done this season, and we've seen the other teams that have gone up and what they have achieved, so you never know what we could do next season.
“Obviously we will see how we get on at the start and go from there. You don't want to start shouting your mouth off and saying you're going to do this and that. We'll keep that in house and have our own ideas for what we are going to do, and then see how it goes.
“There are still big teams in the Championship, and we're not stupid. But we have got a great fan base, a great following, and obviously that helps you along the way.”
One of Drury's long-standing team-mates, Gary Doherty, was released alongside four other players at the start of the summer, meaning Lambert already has spaces in his squad to fill for next season - while more departures could yet be on the way.
And Drury confessed it will not only be City's supporters following the summer speculation doing the rounds during the close season.
“You do follow it a little bit,” admitted Drury. “Obviously you are interested to see what players might be coming into the club, but the club gets linked to so many players that if we bought every player we'd been linked with then we would probably have 10 left-backs, another 20 midfielders, the list goes on and on. It is down to the gaffer and the club, and they will pick the players they want. But I'm looking forward to it, that's for sure.”