Full-back speaks in-depth with canaries.co.ukSTEVEN Whittaker feels he’s been rewarded for his perseverance after signing a new one-year contract with the Canaries.
The full-back didn’t feature during the second half of City’s Premier League campaign despite starting the year as Alex Neil’s first choice right-back.
On penning his fresh deal, the 31-year-old told canaries.co.uk that he believes his hard work behind the scenes helped him force his way back into contention as Neil shapes his squad for next season.
“It’s in my nature to get on with it in the background, and if the opportunity came around I would have been as ready as possible,” said Whittaker.
“I never gave up, I kept doing my stuff and I’ve been rewarded with another year’s contract, maybe from just persevering when things weren’t quite going my way.
“The manager said to me that my best attributes can come forward when we’re the dominant side, and we’re going to be that in the Championship. We’re going to attack and hopefully I can contribute to that again, do my stuff on the pitch and help Norwich win football matches.
“He’s seen the job I did for him in the Championship, and he knows that I’m capable of doing that again.”
Whittaker, whose last league appearance for the Club came against Newcastle back in October, admits he found it tough being out of the team, adding: “It’s probably been one of the hardest parts of my career, for me personally.
“At the previous clubs I’ve been at, and with Norwich over the first three years, I’ve always played my part so to be that far out of the picture was a little bit new to myself.
“It was tough at times, but I just got my head down. It’s in my character to keep working hard.”
Following City’s last relegation two years ago, they bounced back to the top flight at the first time of asking via an unforgettable play-off campaign - and Whittaker hopes they can follow a similar blueprint this time around.
“We kept the nucleus of the side and it showed, we played some great football in the Championship and were unlucky not to get automatic promotion,” he reflected.
“We didn’t let that stop us though, we took the play-offs by storm. It was an amazing highlight for me personally and for the club and the fans.
“I’m sure we’ll be up there pushing again. The aim is to get straight back up to that top league.”