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13 November 2015

Alex Tettey is a Carrow Road fans' favourite. He is 29, plays for Norway and captained City against Swansea last weekend.

NCFC: Hi Alex, thanks for joining us. First of all, can you sum up how you feel the current season has gone at Norwich City?

We had a good start up until October, which wasn't a good month for us. We were playing well but not getting the results. It's important to make sure we get points from playing well, which is something we need to do for the rest of the year.

NCFC: What was it like to captain the team against Swansea?

I wasn't expecting it, so the manager surprised me! I was happy to be captain, but happier that we won and got a clean sheet.

Before the game I was a bit nervous but told the team we would be embarrassed to not get a point for the fifth game in a row. I told them that couldn't happen, and everyone did their job to get the win.

NCFC: Explain what it's like being back in the Barclays Premier League this season. You've said before that's the reason you came to England in the first place?

There's no doubt this is where we all want to be. We know how competitive it is so we never feel sorry for ourselves, even when things don't go our way. There are a lot of good teams in this league so it's tough but we're happy to be here.

This season is about working hard to keep moving forward, and to keep progressing as a team.

NCFC: You've also said the year spent in the Sky Bet Championship improved you as a player. In what ways?

We had to play a lot of games so physically and mentally it took real effort. It's helped because when you have a tough period in the Premier League, you know you're strong enough mentally to deal with it as we had times like that last season.

Playing so many games you're able to see what your body can cope with, and that physicality is important in the Premier League.

NCFC: Last season of course ended with a famous win at Wembley Stadium. How would you describe that day?

It was fantastic; one of the best feelings of my career. That day couldn't have gone any better for us so will always be there until I'm not living anymore!

I can't imagine having the disappointment which Middlesbrough must have felt after the game. It would have been hugely disappointing for us as a team, and as a Football Club. We did really well to come out as the winners and I'm so happy for the fans the day went as it did.

NCFC: Middlesbrough had beaten Norwich a few weeks earlier at Carrow Road. How big a factor was that when it came to Wembley?

We knew we'd lost twice to them during the season, but in both of those games we knew how to play against them, we were just unable to carry it out.

For the Final, we did exactly what was needed to win. We carried out our game-plan perfectly, and played exactly how we had been told we should play by the manager.

It was a big relief to win the one which mattered most. We knew how to make sure the match went differently to the other two games, and we did that.

There was no way it was ever going to be a normal game, because it was in the play-offs. We showed a different mentality in our approach, which helped us to win so everybody was really pleased with how it went.

NCFC: Moving on to international football now, you were born in Ghana, so explain your pathway to representing Norway?

My father went to Europe when I was very young, and he settled in Norway. For the first part of my life we were living with my mother in Ghana, but then it was time for myself and my sister to go and stay with my father.

I was almost 13 at the time, and when I moved to Norway I started going to school and playing a bit of football. When I began to play properly I was involved for Norway's Under-18s, Under-19s and Under-21s so it progressed from there.

Eventually I got a senior cap, and that was it. I didn't really choose to play for Norway over Ghana, it just happened naturally. I'm not ashamed of that and am extremely proud to be playing for such a great country who have treated me really well.

NCFC: When you were living in Ghana, were you playing football there at all?

I played, but it was nothing professional. Sometimes after school I'd meet my friends at the sand-pitch and we'd play as long as we could before it was time to go.

I didn't play properly until I was registered for an Under-13s team in Norway, so when I was in Ghana it was just for fun. 

NCFC: What would it mean to play for Norway at Euro 2016?

We have two big games coming up against Hungary and hopefully we can qualify. It would mean a lot, because I don't think Norway have qualified for a tournament since 2000.

The whole country is almost expecting us to go through now, although it won't be easy. Hopefully we can do it.

NCFC: Do you think the play-off experience against Ipswich last season can help you personally for these matches?

Certainly. Those games have helped me to know what mind-set you have to be in for matches like this, so I think it will be a massive help. 

NCFC: You're scoring a few goals for Norway at the moment too?

I've scored three times, with two of those coming from set-pieces. I don't know if I'll be able to keep that run going but it's just about taking your chances when you get them, which is what I've done.

I'm really pleased to be the top-scorer for the country in qualifying because we have a really good team. I did not expect to score three goals - no chance!

NCFC: In terms of scoring for Norwich, is the volley against Sunderland still the stand-out one for you?

Definitely, for me. When it was Halloween, Sky Sports were advertising 'screamers' and they showed my goal! I said "this is going to stick with me forever", so was very pleased to see it again!

I'm working on getting one at some point this season, so we'll see. It's good to hear the fans calling for me to shoot because they know if I hit it right then it might go in!

I need to practice shooting in training really but that's not something I've done for a while! Maybe I'll start doing that, and then who knows?

NCFC: Who would you say has been your biggest influence in football?

I've looked up to a lot of good players from earlier stages of my life. When I was young I studied midfielders and liked what Paul Scholes and Steven Gerrard did with the ball, and also what they did without it.

There are quite a few who I admire so I don't have one 'big' player who inspired me. I look to learn from everyone.

NCFC: Talk us through your pre-match routine. Do you have a set way of doing things?

Not at all, really. Normally if I am at home I'll wake up and have breakfast before sometimes going for a short walk. After that I'll just prepare myself for the game, without doing anything special. I'm not superstitious so don't have a routine I have to stick to.

NCFC: Away from football how do you relax?

The thing I enjoy most is spending time with my family and with my son. I'm a relaxed guy so am quite happy for us to just sit on the sofa watching television.

Since I've had a child my priority is making sure he's alright, so that's what I do to relax these days. Living in Norwich is perfect for a young family as it's such a nice place.

NCFC: You've been spotted at the cinema a few times too?

I like going to watch films as it's another way to relax. I don't have a big screen at home so have to go there to really enjoy a film!

It's something I used to do quite a lot in Norway because most of the players came through the Academy together so were really good friends.

The Friday before we played games we'd all go to the cinema together as a group to relax, so I've kept doing here in England when I can. 

NCFC: You're a hugely popular figure with City fans. Are you stopped regularly for autographs and photographs when you're out and about?

It happens a lot, but it's normal now. Norwich isn't very big so people recognise you and I've got no problem with that. I love meeting our fans, and always want to have a smile on my face because we all enjoy football.

I want to show the fans how enjoyable it is to play for this Club, which is why I celebrate with them when things are going well for us.

NCFC: Do you remember when we scored in the final minute against Bolton last season? All the other players were celebrating in the corner, but you just fell to the ground in the middle of the pitch?

I told the guys "that was too much for me!" because of how the game had gone. We were drawing then all of a sudden Gary Hooper scored the winning goal and I was like "Oh my gosh!".

We knew how important it was at the time so I didn't know what to do with myself. That's where my celebration came from!

Every now and then I like to do a bit of a dance but that win was unbelievable. We had a minute to go, so to score when we did was fantastic. 

NCFC: How would you describe your whole time at Norwich in three words? 

Fantastic. Overwhelming. Great.

NCFC: Finally, the Norwegian FA's Twitter has been using #NoTetteyNoParty recently. What do you make of that?

I think they're going crazy! I've done well in our two recent games so that's their way of advertising the matches. 

No Tettey, no party! 1-0 til Norge!! #NorgeMalta

— NorgesFotballforbund (@NFF_info) October 10, 2015
At the moment I'm just trying to do my best, to stay fit and to enjoy the games. We have two massive matches to come, but hopefully we will have a party after them!

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