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Given impresses, Walters struggles

Stoke City
By ESPN Staff

Barnett happy with 17th

Leon Barnett admits Norwich are setting their sights no higher than 17th in the Premier League next season.

The Canaries are more used to challenging at the top end of the table lately, having secured back-to-back promotions from League One to the top flight, but Paul Lambert's side are under no illusions and preparing for a survival battle when the new season kicks off.

"As far as I know the aim is just to stay up, and establish ourselves as a Premier League team," Barnett said. "If it's fourth-bottom then we will have done our job. We want to stay out of the bottom three.

"I'd take fourth from bottom. I want to stay in the Premier League and play there next year and the year after. Last season everyone wrote off Blackpool from the start and they did well, they were a bit unfortunate to have Manchester United in the last game and go down.

"But that's done and dusted - we are in the Premier League now. We can take some positives from what Blackpool did and put them in our game, but we're not Blackpool. We're Norwich City.''

For Barnett it is a second crack at the big time as one of the few City players with top-flight experience - he made 11 appearances for relegated West Brom in 2008-09.

The 25-year-old centre-half is also keen to put a nightmare injury spell behind him after a torn hamstring ruled him out for the final three months of Norwich's successful promotion run-in.

Barnett played in Tuesday night's 1-0 friendly defeat at Crystal Palace and said: "It's good to be back on the green grass and I'm trying to get as many minutes as I can before the first game.

"I'm as hungry as ever. Just to play in the Premier League again and to play in it with the boys is a massive honour. I can't wait to get going. When Norwich went up from League One they didn't have much experience of the Championship. It's a proven fact we can do it.

"The gaffer has some good, work-horse players here and people who want to play in the Premier League, and that's probably the most vital thing."


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