‘We’ve got to go and create the next bit of history’ – Improvements will be crucial for Canaries
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
The Champagne corks have been cleared away and the Championship trophy is safely stored in the Carrow Road trophy cabinet. It’s all about the future for everyone at Norwich City now.
That's the message from sporting director Stuart Webber, having made the most of the Canaries' promotion celebrations before swiftly getting stuck into preparations for the Premier League.
"It's definitely sunk in now," Webber said of the mood around the club now that things have calmed down. "It was a bit surreal at first. After the Blackburn game that was surreal because it almost felt like a bit of a dream and for myself it almost felt like you weren't there.
"I was sort of walking around like a bit of a zombie, almost like I was watching it on TV myself. Then the same at Villa Park and the parade and everything was special, to see so many people out to watch.
"You saw how special this club is to so many different people and the staff and players got to celebrate that and really enjoy it, which was great for me to watch."
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Daniel Farke's team sealed promotion with a 2-1 home win over Blackburn in the penultimate game of the season and the title was wrapped up with a 2-1 victory at Aston Villa - who then went on to beat Derby in the play-off final.
Webber continued: "You step back and think crikey, what we've achieved is pretty special, for everyone connected with the club, that we went and did it in style by winning the league, winning at an iconic stadium like Villa Park is - and great credit to their supporters and their club for how they treated us.
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"I'm delighted they've joined us because they treated us with unbelievable class on that day and probably showed why they are such a big club, when they act like that.
"It's been great, it's special, these things that don't happen every day in your life, you've got to sit back and enjoy it but then you have to learn from it as well.
"The parade was on the Monday and then on the Tuesday and Wednesday, Daniel, myself and all the staff locked ourselves away - as we did last year - and reflected on the season.
"What was done well, what we still need to develop on, what are we thinking ahead about, because it's great what's happened but that only lasts so long and we've got to start looking forward."
Promotion to the Premier League is worth around £170million to clubs - based on being relegated after one season and the parachute payments which would follow - yet Webber doesn't want anyone at the club to be dazzled by the glitz and glamour of the most watched league in the world.
"We've got our plan and we've got to not treat it like we've won a raffle or something to be there," he added. "We've got to believe that we were truly good enough to get there and we can be good enough to thrive and go and do well there.
"Whether that ends up being good enough to stay in the league, who knows, but we've got to go there and work as if we deserve to be there, raise our standards and behaviours and everything to help us achieve the next objective."
Having already talked about the importance of maintaining the unity on and off the pitch which helped drive City to promotion, Webber believes standards at the club will need to step up to another level to become established in the top flight.
"We've got to go and create the next bit of history and that's whether you're working in the ticket office, a first team player, a physio or whatever, it's about what's next and what have we got to do next to raise our standards, our behaviours?" he concluded.
"We're about to pretty much walk into a new facility (at Colney) as the academy, and also the first team, and as I keep saying to the heads of department, that comes with a sense of responsibility.
"There's no excuse now, we can't say the players aren't fit enough because the gym isn't good enough. We've probably got the best gym in the Premier League now, until someone builds a bigger one.
"So it's about not forgetting what we've done, and we should always reflect on that - during the hard times next season we should look back and remember that this is part of the journey that we have got to go through.
"But it's about looking forward and trying to be even better than what we've done before, because if we only do as well as what we've done, that won't be good enough, so we all have to stretch ourselves even more and develop that even further."
- You can watch the full video of our exclusive interview with Webber above or by subscribing to the Pinkun podcast.