Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Kei Kamara probably didn’t expect to have too much in common with his Norwich City team-mates when he joined the Canaries on loan from Sporting Kansas City in January.
However, the Sierra Leone international has also felt what it’s like to be part of a side that’s beaten Manchester United during his time in Major League Soccer.
Whilst the Norwich squad can look back fondly over their 1-0 win over the Red Devils earlier in the season thanks to Anthony Pilkington’s header, Kamara can make a similar boast.
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson will know all about the 28-year-old after seeing him star in a pre-season friendly in 2010 as Kamara scored one and made another for Kansas City Wizards in a 2-1 win.
However, Kamara is used to being singled out as a danger man in America when he built a reputation as one of the hottest players in the MLS.
“I was part of the Kansas City team that beat Manchester United – they are the only team in America to have done that,” he said.
“I scored a headed goal and got an assist in a 2-1 win. So I may be a marked man against them now.
“But I’m used to being man-marked in America and it just means I have to work much harder because you have to do different tricks to get past people and I really enjoy that.”
Kamara fever has gripped the Canaries since the impact he made coming off the bench against Everton as the striker turned the tide in City’s favour to inspire a 2-1 win.
He is pushing for a starting spot against United on Saturday but is likely to be named as a substitute again with manager Chris Hughton eager not to expect too much too soon.However, Kamara admits he has felt at home in Norfolk straight away, with his new team-mates helping to ease the transition from the MLS to the Premier League.
“The group is great – it makes me feel like home,” he said.
“This dressing room has the same energy as the one that I’m used to in Kansas.
“The guys are so friendly, there’s jokes so it makes you more relaxed. If I had come into a place that wasn’t so laid back I would feel more tension. I feel really welcome.”
Kamara’s loan spell with Norwich ends on May 6 meaning he would miss their last two games of the season against West Brom and Manchester City.
If he can build on his display against Everton, Hughton will undoubtedly look to extend that deal but, for the moment, Kamara is happy just to focus on trying to keep the Canaries in the Premier League.
“I’m just trying to focus and go game by game,” he said. “I want to help out as much as I can for the team to stay up and just make me be loved even more.
“When that time (the end of his loan spell) comes we will have to decide with my agent and everybody else.”
• Kei Kamara’s thunderous header just before half-time for Kansas City Wizards proved to be the winner against Manchester United during a pre-season friendly in 2010. Kamara rose highest to majestically head home past Ben Amos from a corner just before the break minutes after his side had been reduced to 10 men.
David Arnaud had given Kansas the lead early on, after being played in by Kamara, before Dimitar Berbatov equalised from the spot five minutes before the break after being brought down by Jimmy Conrad, who was sent off.
However, Kamara struck just over a minute later with what proved to be the deciding goal against a United side that also contained the likes of Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Nani.