Gill after a promotion treble
PUBLISHED: 08:00 06 August 2009 | UPDATED: 09:32 11 May 2010
Matt Gill believes he can score an impressive hat-trick of promotions with Norwich City this season. The midfielder joined City in the summer, having helped Exeter out of the Conference and then out of League Two in successive seasons.
Matt Gill believes he can score an impressive hat-trick of promotions with Norwich City this season.
The midfielder joined City in the summer, having helped Exeter out of the Conference and then out of League Two in successive seasons.
In May he was dreaming of coming to Carrow Road for “a cup tie” as a Grecian - now he's preparing to defend the fortress against all-comers, including his old team.
Gill's recent career has been one of almost continual success, and while that's something that has eluded City since their relegation from the top flight in 2005, the 28-year-old believes fortunes are about to change.
“I've been lucky enough to have had success recently - and the season before the first promotion we lost in the play-off final, so it's been three years battling for success, which has been good,” said Gill, who was brought up in Fakenham.
“It's funny because once Exeter got promoted last season we all said, 'look, Norwich are in our league next year' and from an Exeter point of view it was an unbelievable place to come and play, it had almost a cup tie feel about it.
“And people will come and raise their game against Norwich, but we have to be good enough to cope with that and make Carrow Road a hard place to come to.”
After two promotions in a row, Gill believes the chances of a treble are good.
“Very much so,” he said. “That's what we have to aim for anyway at the very least. I think the lads have a point to prove - myself, everyone else who is new to the club and the players who were here last season. Everyone has the same goal and that's to try and get this club back to where it belongs.
“It will be a very competitive league, there are some big clubs. It's a tough ask but one we can definitely manage and we just need to make sure we give it our all.”
Pre-season has gone well for City, with six wins and a draw in seven games - a winning sequence that Gill may be more used to than some others at Carrow Road but one which raises expectations.
“There will be pressure on us, regardless of what results were going to be like,” he said. “I'd take not winning a game through pre-season to go and win your first five, but I think the lads have got an understanding of how each other plays in pre-season. The games are needed to get your fitness and hopefully that has brought confidence.
“I think the tour to Scotland helped a lot - when you spend every minute of every day with everyone you can only get closely knit. It has been a real good pre-season - although that will mean nothing if we don't take it into the season, so we need to make sure that we hit the ground running come Saturday.
“All the lads are experienced enough to know that pre-season games are totally different to the nitty gritty stuff that is the first league game. We have to make sure we come out of the blocks fast.
“Winning breeds success and once you have had a taste of success you want more of it, so I think on a personal level it can only help me that I have been in a winning team in pre-season and the last couple of years at Exeter. I think pre-season has helped us.”
The bookies have City just behind favourites Leeds in the promotion stakes, although Gill believes it will be a few weeks before a pattern emerges.
“Obviously you are going to be looking at the teams that came down - us, Charlton and Southampton - then there are Leesd and MK Dons, maybe Colchester,” he said.
“But it is always hard to tell before the league starts and I don't think it's until eight or 10 games have gone that it starts to take shape and hopefully we will be there from the off.
“I am sure a lot of the teams will have aspirations of getting promoted and we have to make sure we are there when it counts.”