Last season was not a good one for former Rangers defender Steven Whittaker. After injuries hampered his chances in 2012-13, a healthy Whittaker struggled to get a consistent run in the starting eleven for Norwich City last season – even as the club tried to hold off its eventual relegation to England’s Championship. Whittaker only started 16 of the club’s 38 league matches, while appearing as a sub on four occasions. The club had the third worst goals against record in the EPL.
Whittaker told The Pink’un, “The first year I was here I was hampered by injuries, the second I was fine. I trained all of the season but I just didn’t get the games so obviously when you want to play and you don’t that is a disappointment.”
“I am used to playing a lot more than I did last season when I was up in Scotland. All I can do is put myself in a position where I am pushing to be in contention and when I get a chance it is up to me to make sure I can’t be edged out of the team.”
Along with relegation, comes Norwich’s opportunity to rekindle its derby with Ipswich Town. The rivalry, known as the Old Farm, brought up memories of the Old Firm for Whittaker which gave reporters the opportunity to get the him to open up about leaving Rangers in 2012.
Whittaker’s response, “Obviously what happened with Rangers at that time has been well-documented. I knew I could do better than playing in the Scottish third division and I didn’t want to spend three years of my career trying to come back up the leagues.”
“Norwich offered me the challenge to come south and I have actually enjoyed it. I still have two years here so I am looking forwards to what we can achieve.“
At the time of Whittaker’s departure he explained the decision to leave as he sat alongside Steven Naismith in their infamous press conference. Whittaker said, “It’s a short career and I want to try to play at the top for as many years as possible.”
“It doesn’t look like I will have that opportunity if I stay with the new company. I’ve had sleepless nights and endless conversations with my wife and family trying to come up with the best outcome for myself.”
“It’s been very stressful. But I think I’ve made the right decision.”
Steven Whittaker, who turned 30 this summer, will experience playing in the second tier for the first time in his twelve year professional career. He will be joined by former Rangers teammate Kyle Lafferty as they try to spur on Norwich’s promotion back to the EPL.