16 August 2012 13:53
Norwich City visit Fulham in their English Premier League opener, with Marc Tierney seeking an improvement on last season’s achievements.
Norwich, promoted automatically from the Championship in 2010/11, secured a 12th-placed finish during their first campaign back in the top flight.
Saturday’s match at Craven Cottage is where it all starts again, albeit without manager Paul Lambert, who left for Aston Villa and was replaced by former Birmingham and Newcastle United coach Chris Hughton.
Despite the loss of their impressive manager, defender Tierney is confident Norwich can continue to climb the table under the guidance of Hughton.
“We don’t want to just relax and stay where we are,” he said.
“We want to keep working hard. Normally when a new manager comes in they have to try and turn things around.
“I think it’s probably a bit different as we’ve done so well over the past couple of seasons so we’ve just got to look to continue improving.”
Leeds United’s Robert Snodgrass and Sunderland’s Michael Turner moved to Carrow Road during a pre-season which included a win against Scottish champions Celtic and a draw against Dutch giants Ajax.
Fulham meanwhile did not experience a change in manager, with Dutchman Martin Jol beginning his second season in charge, but he did see a number of players leave.
Veteran midfielder Danny Murphy joined Blackburn along with Dickson Etuhu, while Andrew Johnson (QPR), Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading), and Orlando Sa and Bjorn Helge Riise (both released) followed the pair out of the club, leaving Fulham short on midfield and striking options.
Although free agents Hugo Rodallega and Mladen Petric have arrived at Craven Cottage, Jol would like to add two more players to his squad.
“We need at least a midfield player, in the midfield area,” he said.
“Up front, we lost four strikers – Orlando Sa went, Bobby Zamora, the Pog (Pavel Pogrebnyak), Andy Johnson went.
“We have got two, Rodallega and Petric, so at least we need one or two strikers as well.”
In the pair’s two meetings last season, Fulham edged Norwich 2-1 at home in April and earned a 1-1 draw at Carrow Road in January.