Norwich City 1-0 Birmingham: Timm Klose desperate to be a leading light for the Canaries
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Timm Klose cut a happy figure as his return to Norwich City action brought three points, a clean sheet and strong words for what he hopes is to come.
The Swiss international brought a calming presence on his first appearance under Daniel Farke, having been stuck on the sidelines since suffering a pre-season hamstring injury after a heavy tackle at Cambridge United.
Now the 29-year-old centre-back is hoping he can play a pivotal role in helping City’s young guns and Championship new boys develop into a serious second-tier outfit.
“Listen, if you have to wait so long for your first game it’s always hard to watch them play – especially as I was fighting for that moment to come back and to show I wanted to come back on the pitch,” said Klose.
“It’s sometimes hard when you get injured in a friendly game in pre-season, but that’s football and you have to accept it. You have to fight against it to get back as soon as possible and come back stronger.
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“If it was down to me I would’ve played against Millwall because I was really hungry to play, but in the end it was the right decision to wait. Especially for me to not have another setback. As you can see, in the end it was the right decision.
“Last season I came into the Championship and I thought I was going to rule this league, but I think the opposite happened.
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“I struggled a little bit and I’ve learned. Maybe there will still be some games this season where I will struggle, but I know now what they need from me, what I can give back to the team – and that’s the most important thing.
“I need to be a leader and a strong person on the pitch, help the young lads to bring the fighting spirit out of them.
“Sometimes you have to play ugly to win the games, especially in the Championship – and I’ve learned that the hard way last season.
“But I’m going to take criticism. I want to be better every time and every game I play, and that’s important for me as well. That’s why I want to be mentally strong for the young lads.
“I’m 29 now. I’ve seen a lot of things in football and when I was talking to the gaffer, he was telling me I could be that leader everyone expects me to be. It’s down to me now to bring it on the pitch.
“There may be hard games sometimes but in my head I’m ready for that challenge and I want to be that one guy everyone can lean on – and that’s the most important thing for me this season.”
Klose’s last goal for the club actually came in the Carrow Road clash with Birmingham last season and he came close to repeating the trick this time around – instead earning the assist for Nelson Oliveira’s fifth-minute winner.
“I was ready to headbutt the corner flag again but it didn’t happen,” laughed the defender. “I was surprised Madders (James Maddison) won his header! But that’s another thing that was really important. He won his header and then I just went for the goal.
“There was a little bit of luck in the end, but it was important for me that Nelson was there to score the goal.
“Of course it’s nice to come back and assist the goal and keep a clean sheet. I’m happy for Nelson because he’s really done a good job. He worked a lot for us. That was important.
“I’m happy that he’s still here, as happy as I am that Cammy (Jerome) is still here, because they are both great fighters on the pitch.
“They know that sometimes it’s hard up front there on their own, but they really give everything and that’s what makes this whole thing a bit sweeter.”