Dublin braced for friendly fire

Dion Dublin has warned his team-mates not to expect any favours from Lowestoft and King's Lynn this week as Norwich continue their pre-season build-up with an East Anglian mini tour.

Dion Dublin has warned his team-mates not expect any favours from Lowestoft and King's Lynn this week as Norwich continue their pre-season build-up with an East Anglian mini tour.

The Canaries head off to the east coast tonight, when a crowd in excess of 2,000 is expected at Lowestoft Town's Crown Meadow, before playing game number three of the summer at The Walks tomorrow.

Dublin wore the Linnets' colours early in his career, having failed to make the breakthrough during his first spell at Carrow Road, and insists neither of the non-league sides will take prisoners.

"I know they are going to be hard games," said Dublin. "I know they are going to want to teach us a lesson and show us what they can do - and so they should.

"I have been in their situation, where I have been in the team that is not expected to win. I know how they are feeling, and fair play, they should be feeling that.

"Come Tuesday and Wednesday we need to pull our socks up and get on with our job and start playing how we can play - it is time to turn things around now. We can't afford to be saying 'we're nearly there, we're nearly there'. We have to get there, we have to start being consistent, even in pre-season.

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"We have the players to do that. We have lost a few players of quality, unfortunately, and the gaffer has brought a few players of quality in now - so we have to replace what we have lost and keep our mouths shut, get on with our jobs and hopefully do something this season."

Dublin's career began inauspiciously: on leaving school in 1985 he earned a trial at Norwich through a friend of his brother - then City star Dale Gordon - but never made the first team and, three years later, was given a free transfer to Cambridge United. He spent a month on loan at Lynn before returning to The Abbey, where his career took off.

Now 39, Dublin has never forgotten those early days.

"King's Lynn was one of my starting points and I am glad that I had those times - they make you realise what you have got," he said. "They were good times and I am looking forward to going back there, for myself and for the boys. It will be another game under our belts."

There will also be another reunion with ex-Canaries coach and current Lynn boss Keith Webb, who was at City when Dublin first arrived.

"Webby was a coach when I was here first time around, I know him very well," said Dublin. "He helped me out. I used to train with Webby when I was here first time in '86. He was my coach, along with Mike Walker, and he taught me a lot so I am pleased for him."

Dublin played 45 minutes of City's opening friendly of the summer, the 2-1 defeat at Exeter on Saturday, and knows City have to raise their game for this week's local fixtures.

"Yes it was our first game but it was no excuse really," he said. "My own personal feeling is that I don't think we started too well. We were off the game, they deserved to be two goals up, we didn't defend very well, me personally, but the good thing about it is we are only going to get better, we are going to get stronger, we are going to get fitter.

"This is a personal opinion, we should have started better, but it happens. It was their fourth or fifth game and you could see it was their fourth or fifth game.

"You could tell it was our first game, we were slow and the passing was slow. If we had had four or five games and they had had four or five games we would have won the game - I am pretty confident of that."