‘I am a sore loser,’ says Norwich City signing Johnson
Bradley Johnson could be Norwich City’s new Mr Nasty in midfield – in the nicest possible way.
Manager Paul Lambert says his summer signing from Leeds has a competitive edge that he admires, and the 24-year-old admits he is “a sore loser”.
Lambert introduced his three latest recruits to the media at Carrow Road yesterday and was quick to explain why he had snapped up the out-of-contract Johnson on a free transfer from Leeds.
“I thought he did great for Leeds, especially when he went into the centre of the pitch,” said Lambert. “I thought he was really comfortable there and he has little bit of a nasty streak in him which I think every player has to have. Not as in over the top, but I just think he’s got that little bit of a streak in him where he won’t shy away from it.
“I don’t mean nasty in a disrespectful way. I just think he’s got a desire to go and do well, which I think you need.”
Johnson, who signed a three-year deal with the Canaries last week, explained: “It’s not nasty. But I’ve got a desire to win and I’m a sore loser, I can tell you that.
“I want to win every game I’m in and I think that shows in my performance, in how hard I work.
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“I’m strong, I’m passionate about the game and I have that desire. I’m a box-to-box player and I hope Norwich will see the best of me.”
Johnson was greeted by one familiar face when he began training on Monday, in the shape of another of Lambert’s close season captures.
“I played with Steve Morison at Stevenage. When I was at Northampton I went down there for a month’s loan, so I know Steve very well,” he said.
“But I’ve played against most of the lads throughout my career so I know them very well.
“I came in on Monday and I felt very welcome.
“I’ve had some good battles with Norwich in my time at Leeds. I have settled in well and can’t wait for the season to start.
“I know most of the lads who are in the team have come from the same background as me. They’ve been in the lower leagues and we’ve got that hunger and desire to play in the top flight and now we’ve been given the chance to do that. Everyone wants to stay there.
“The lads have proved they’re not just individuals, they’re a good team.”
Johnson, who started his career at Cambridge United and spent 2� years at Northampton, joined Leeds for �250,000 in 2008 and scored 17 times in 140 senior appearances.
Lambert has earmarked central midfield as the best place for the versatile Johnson if he can force his way into the starting eleven in a department where there is fierce competition for places.
He said: “We liked him when he played in the centre of the pitch. “He’s played in front of big crowds before so he won’t be frightened by a big crowd, whether we’re playing at home or away.”