David Wagner is determined to lead Norwich City back to the Premier League – but the Canaries head coach is not getting ahead of himself.
Wagner took over at Carrow Road in January and eventually guided Norwich to a 13th-placed finish in the Championship last season.
This time around, though, he’ll be hoping to do what he did with Huddersfield Town in 2016/17 and reach the promised land – but, as he tells FourFourTwo in the latest issue available to buy, promotion won’t come without his squad working their socks off.
“The start of our pre-season featured sessions at 8am, 11am and 4pm,” Wagner explains. “If fitness is the area where we can be better than our competitors then, come on, work like hell to be the fittest team in the league. I’m very happy I have such open-minded guys. They know we have to do something different to the other contenders and they’re completely invested.”
The former Schalke and Young Boys boss concedes that there are better teams in what looks set to be an extremely competitive division once again, and he seems to have his feet firmly on the ground as he focuses on the task at hand.
“It would be disrespectful to talk about how we would deal with the Premier League,” he continues. “It makes sense to speak less about promotion and work more, to be more humble after last season, but with the highest possible ambition. We’re one of eight to 10 teams who will see themselves as contenders for promotion; now it’s up to us. I can’t say we are the team with the best players, but it’s not about names on paper, it’s about what we can deliver. You have to make sure everybody knows it’s about work and sacrifice.”
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Tom Hancock started freelancing for FourFourTwo in April 2019 and has also written for The Analyst and When Saturday Comes, among others. He supports Wycombe Wanderers and has a soft spot for Wealdstone. A self-confessed statto, he has been known to watch football with a spreadsheet (or several) open...