Fox may hold key for City
Michael Bailey Midfielder David Fox is happy to be Norwich City's new 'holding man' as he settles into life at Carrow Road. The 26-year-old, who signed from Colchester United at the start of the summer, impressed at the base of manager Paul Lambert's diamond formation during the Canaries' 2-1 win over Premier League new boys Newcastle United at the weekend.
Midfielder David Fox is happy to be Norwich City's new 'holding man' as he settles into life at Carrow Road.
The 26-year-old, who signed from Colchester United at the start of the summer, impressed at the base of manager Paul Lambert's diamond formation during the Canaries' 2-1 win over Premier League new boys Newcastle United at the weekend.
Darel Russell was the man who excelled in the position for most of last season as City rocketed to the League One title, but following his summer departure as a free agent, Fox is hoping to be the one stepping into Russell's shoes in the Championship.
“It suits me down to the ground,” said Fox, whose eye for a pass made an instant impression against the Magpies. “It gives me the opportunity to get the ball and to give it to the other lads. I'm trying to link the back, the defence, to the strikers and hopefully I can do that as well as I can. It's a system I think worked well for Norwich last year and I'm trying to settle into that formation as best I can. It's all about stretching the play. You've got to get it from one side to the other and create the space; that's what we're trying to do, stretch teams and hopefully work our way through them. If we play it well it's a difficult formation to handle.”
The formation is made for someone of Wes Hoolahan's calibre, who gets the freedom to float behind City's two strikers - but it can also mean a lot of work for the three midfielders behind him as they mop up any oncoming danger. That is a burden Fox is happy to shoulder.
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“We've got to stay nice and compact and narrow and know where to be, but that's what we're working on at the training ground and we'll make sure we get it right,” said the former Blackpool man. “It's something we will work on and I'm sure teams will try to stop us playing, but we've got to find ways to get around that.”
Saturday's win over a side that won the Championship at a canter last season will tempt City fans into wondering what could be achieved in the forthcoming campaign - now only 10 days away - and Fox is glad Lambert's new-look side showed some of its potential after poor results at Stevenage and Dagenham.
“We had a tough few weeks before those two games, we had the Germany trip and then we went straight into those two games from that really, and there was not much rest in between, so it was all part of the work out,” said Fox.
“We had a day off on Friday to recharge the batteries and I think we saw the freshness in the side (against Newcastle) that was probably missing in the other two games. So it's about finding the right balance between fitness and performances, and I think we've done both there.
“Newcastle was a big step up from the friendlies we've had so far. When you're at home you want to try and put in a performance to give the fans some positive thoughts on the season ahead, and I think we've done that.
“Newcastle won this league last year, so it was a good marker for where we need to be at. People will look at the result, see that we beat them and be delighted with that, and it's always good to get good results - but Norwich had some good pre-season results last year and we saw the start. So we all know that come the Watford game we need to be on the top of our game, and we will be.”