Tettey loving rejuvenation of Carrow Road atmosphere as his lengthy Norwich City career continues
- Credit: PA
After Norwich City’s valiant victory over Manchester City, David Freezer caught up with long-serving Canaries midfielder Alex Tettey about his return to starting action on a memorable Carrow Road evening.
Alex Tettey has seen it all during his long and eventful association with Norwich City.
The defensive midfielder has been part of two top-flight relegations and two glorious Championship promotions.
Since joining from Rennes for around £3million in 2012 he's played for three managers and under a sporting director and head coach.
The 33-year-old has seen club legends leave and new heroes arrive, has scored a winner at Old Trafford, has had to deal with humbling heavy defeats to the big boys and has blasted a goal-of-the-month contender at Carrow Road.
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Tettey has been strapped into the yellow and green rollercoaster ride for over seven years now, making 211 appearances along the way and climbing to 58th in the club's all-time appearance list.
Returning to the starting XI with the captain's armband on his bicep on Saturday was his 73rd Premier League game - and one of the most special yet at Carrow Road, leaving humbled champions Manchester City shocked as they fell to a 3-2 defeat to a fired-up home side in the midst of an injury crisis.
Tettey has seen the atmosphere transform at his home stadium since Stuart Webber and Daniel Farke arrived - and his smile said everything you needed to know about just how influential Saturday's passionate support was for the players.
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"It was fantastic," he explained. "Before, it was okay, but now I feel like the fans who come to see us have accepted something, which is: we have a young team and you have to be behind them, to show them that we are here.
"That's the difference between now and before. Now it just shows when we play games, everyone accepts that we have a certain way of playing, they accept that we have a young team.
"It makes a difference because you feel like they are there with you in everything that we do, if you have a tackle they are there, if you score a goal - the last 15 minutes you could hear everything.
"It was great for the boys. It's been a bit of negative talk with all the injuries and, those players that are injured, if they had played, would they win or not?
"I think it shows we have a squad and everyone who got their chance I thought were brilliant: Ibrahim (Amadou), Kenny (McLean), all of them. But it was good for the team, good for the manager, that he knows he has players who want to play and fight."
All the talk ahead of the visit of Pep Guardiola's expensively assembled squad was of the injuries which had left Farke's squad threadbare for a difficult and daunting encounter.
Christoph Zimmermann (foot) had joined long-term injury victims Onel Hernandez and Timm Klose (both knee) in starting a lengthy lay off, while Tom Trybull and Max Aarons (ankle) had both picked up problems set to keep them out for a month.
With calf problems keeping Mo Leitner and Mario Vrancic out of the game, Grant Hanley (groin) only fit enough for the bench and Patrick Roberts ineligible to face his parent club, the experience of Tettey was desperately needed - but he insists the City players were still confident they could get a good result.
"Obviously we know what everyone writes but within ourselves we are joking about this game, we knew we were playing City and they had lost hardly any games, we knew what we were up against," he explained.
"It helped that we got the goal, the belief and everything, so it was great, great for us going forward, the manager and everyone.
"The way we played as well, everyone was talking about having a plan B and plan C but I think it was a small twist to how we play.
"Being compact, rather than parking the bus, it means the wingers coming in and doing their jobs. When we got the break we used it well, we tried to keep the ball as well, so it was not a big change in how he (Farke) wants us to play, it was small things.
"You have to in this league because if you don't, yes we will score goals, but we will concede a lot more as well and I thought we got it right, and he got it right, and working on it in the training ground has been good.
"We need to just enjoy it and move forward, it will be another different game against Burnley. Everyone who knows Burnley and that place (Turf Moor) knows what is coming so, brilliant, and try to move forward."
Tettey's contract is due to expire at the end of this season but if he can maintain the influential form displayed during Saturday's success then, who knows, perhaps his distinguished Canaries career could yet extend beyond an eighth season.