Germany trip will give new Canaries their chance to blend in - Nelson

Defender Michael Nelson believes a week in Germany is the perfect way for Norwich City's new faces to blend with the bulk of last season's League One title-winning squad.

Defender Michael Nelson believes a week in Germany is the perfect way for Norwich City's new faces to blend with the bulk of last season's League One title-winning squad.

The Canaries flew out yesterday for a training camp near Bonn after kicking off their pre-season programme with a 3-0 win at Ridgeons League club Dereham Town, with Nelson among the scorers.

And the big centre-half said manager Paul Lambert's six summer signings were finding their feet in their new surroundings.

He said: “Everyone seems to have settled in quite well. It's quite a close group anyway from last year, so I think if anybody came in and tried to upset the balance they'd be put in their place pretty straightforwardly anyway.

“It seems quite a good mix and I hope next week will get everyone settled in even more.

“It's something new for us. We went to Scotland last year and when I was at Hartlepool we used to go to Holland every season, so it will be nice for the boys to get away, especially the new lads.

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“I don't think there will be a great deal for us to do out there so it's great that all the boys will be together and get a chance to mix well and get a little bit of togetherness before the start of the season.”

It was a scorching afternoon at Aldiss Park on Saturday, and it promises to be hot work on the Continent.

“It's part and parcel of pre-season training. You know the weather's going to be warm and you've got to put the work in and do all the running,” said Nelson.

“I'm sure there will be a pretty good mix of football and running so I hope we just get the work done while we're away and come back at the end of the week ready for some games.

“It's important to have the pre-season games but they're largely there just for fitness.

“We want to get a bit of momentum going before the start of the season but the important thing is that we get the lads' fitness together and make sure we come through the games without any injuries.”

Nelson, 30, finished last season in scoring form with the winner at Charlton to clinch promotion and another goal in the 2-0 home win over Gillingham that clinched the League One title.

He was at it again with the opening goal at Dereham in the 24th minute, after hitting the bar with a header early on.

“I should have had three or four today but it's nice to be getting in there, getting the chances,” he said.

“The balls in were great by the lads who were delivering them. I've just got to hope that by the time the season comes round, they will be that little bit lower and they'll be going in the back of the net.”

Nelson missed the final match of last season with an injury to the sole of the foot, but said he had fully recovered.

“It seems to be fine. They monitored it during the summer and I came in halfway through for two intensive days on it just to try to get a reaction from it and nothing happened, so we just left it from there and I hope it will stay the way it is now,” he said.

City will be immediately under the spotlight when they play the first Football League game of the new season at home to Watford on Friday, August 6, in front of the TV cameras.

But he welcomes the added pressure.

He said: “That comes with winning the league. It's a pressure you want to have. You don't want to have people come and watch you because you're not winning.

“We're in a little bit of a winning habit after the end of the season but it's gone now, we're starting fresh. But I hope we can carry some of that momentum into the start of the season and I hope the cameras will keep coming because we keep winning.”

Nelson was reluctant to set a target for the Canaries, however, after the previous League One champions, Leicester, finished fifth in their first season back in the Championship.

“We just want to do as well as we can. I don't think you'll hear anyone shouting about any targets we've set or what we're going to do.

“We'll keep that in house, have our own individual targets, our team targets and I hope we'll achieve them.”