Belfast Telegraph

Fer thriving in Premier League

Norwich midfielder Leroy Fer has enjoyed his introduction to the Barclays Premier League and is looking to develop into a key player for the Canaries over the course of the season.

The 23-year-old was signed from FC Twente in his native Holland during the summer as Norwich boss Chris Hughton conducted a recruitment drive that also included deals for Ricky van Wolfswinkel, Gary Hooper, Martin Olsson and Nathan Redmond.

Despite that substantial investment the Norfolk club have taken just four points from their opening five Premier League games and are the league's lowest goalscorers, having found the back of the net on only three occasions.

Although it is not the start Norwich fans would have reasonably expected given the money that was spent, Fer has impressed so far and is hoping he can contribute even more as the season progresses.

When asked how he thought his Norwich career had started, Fer replied: "I think really good, it is my first season in the Premier League but all of the boys are really good to me and it is easy for me to gel in.

"We have got some new boys in the team but it was really easy for us to gel and easy for us to become a team because all of the boys are good.

"I have started good but I have to become a better player, keep training and doing my things and do my best for Norwich.

"I want to play every game and be important for the team. (Hughton) took me from FC Twente to Norwich so he has a lot of faith in me even if I'm not playing but I want to be playing and doing my bit for the team."

Fer followed compatriot van Wolfswinkel to Carrow Road and believes the Holland international, who has not scored since his debut on the opening day of the season, can find his finishing touch again soon.

"He helped me in part," Fer said.

"It was really good for me to contact him and he knew already about the club - it is something that made me come here to Norwich.

"I hadn't played much against him but I played with him for the Under-21s. He played a really big part in the qualifications because he scored nine goals in 10 games. Ricky is a good goalscorer and will score goals for Norwich."

Hooper scored a brace in his first start for Norwich in the 3-2 Capital One Cup victory at Watford on Tuesday evening and is in contention to make his full league debut at Stoke on Sunday.

The former Celtic forward will now have the weight of expectation on his shoulders but Fer believes it is up to the club's other attacking talent to create the chances for players such as Hooper and Van Wolfswinkel to tuck away.

"Gary is a good striker but we have other good strikers as well with Ricky and Johan Elmander, but we have to give the ball to them to score," he added.

"It is difficult for them to do everything for the team but if we can feed them the ball much more they will definitely score for us. As a midfielder you have to put the ball in to the strikers to allow them to score."

Norwich have won just once away from home this calender year, a 3-2 victory at Manchester City on the final day of last season, and Fer is anticipating another tough away trip to face Mark Hughes' Potters.

"I think it is going to be a hard game. Going away from home to a good Stoke City team, I watched them against Arsenal and they played really well," he said.

"I think we have played some good games, including against Villa, but we had to score to win the game and we didn't. We have to keep on going, stay as a team and get ready for the next game."

Hughton is likely to be without captain Sebsastien Bassong following a hamstring injury in the 1-0 loss to Villa but Van Wolfswinkel has recovered from a toe injury and will be challenging Hooper to start up-front at Stoke.


From Belfast Telegraph