Bellamy puts his emotions on hold
Craig Bellamy says he's hoping to turn applause to boos when he steps out at his old hunting ground on Saturday.
The Cardiff striker has a special place in the hearts of Canaries fans, having come through the youth ranks at Norwich before embarking on a �45m journey around some of Britain's biggest clubs.
The controversial striker is set to make his first competitive return to Carrow Road in almost 11 years when City's big promotion rivals come to town – and while he is expecting a warm enough welcome, he is planning to turn the tables on his old club.
'I have been back to Carrow Road for a friendly and had a good welcome,' said Bellamy, 'It's a bit different when you come through a club's youth system because you are seen as one of theirs.
'My feeling is I will get a decent reception at the start, but I hope that's where it stops. I want the home fans booing me because I am doing a job for Cardiff City – that will ensure I am fired up.
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'I don't want them applauding me for too long. As grateful as I am that Norwich City gave me start in football, and I really am grateful for that, Cardiff City need the points tomorrow. I hope Norwich City fans give me stick in the end, but that will never alter my affection for them.'
Bellamy, speaking in an interview with the Cardiff City web site, will also be reunited with Paul Lambert, having played alongside the Canaries boss at Celtic in 2005.
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'Paul was an incredible player, immense,' said Bellamy, who has been released on police bail following an incident in Cardiff last weekend. 'I watched him play for Borussia Dortmund when they won the European Cup. He was an incredible player in that team.
'To be able to work alongside him at Celtic was a dream. I didn't get to play in the same team as him much, but he was involved with the manager, Martin O'Neill, and you could see he was a man destined for management.
'It was clear from the way he worked and how he studied the game. He went to Germany, did his coaching badges and his pro licence.
'I liked the way he went to lower league management first with Wycombe and Colchester and built up. He gave himself a good grounding and now he is at a really good club.
'There is no doubt in my mind he is going on to bigger things. He has the mentality and ambition to do that.'
Sentiment aside, Bellamy is aiming to widen the gap between the second and third placed teams tomorrow.
'Over the last few games – taking out Bristol City away, of course – we have done well,' he said. 'I am talking about Coventry and Leeds at home in particular. That's the best I have played so far in those matches and I am looking forward to the rest of this season. I feel confident I can play a full part in helping Cardiff City earn promotion.
'Yes, there is an expectation. I wouldn't say pressure as such, but you are expected to play to a certain level. I expect that myself.
'I missed a few weeks and had to build myself up in terms of game time.
'I knew that after Christmas there would be 24-odd games left and that, to me, is like a season. My fitness coach in Holland and I talked about aiming for a target we want to hit. Hopefully, this is the time I can have my say.
'I am really enjoying myself with Cardiff City. It's been a pleasure to be here.
'It has also been an eye opener after being in the top flight for 10 years. I have been very fortunate with the clubs I have played for.
'I have been at special clubs and playing for Cardiff City this season is different in as much as we work to a certain budget.
'I have learned a lot about myself. Many people questioned whether I could cope with this, but I have adjusted.
'I have had to adjust to the playing style and being with players who may have the same ability of players I have been used to.
'But we are doing this together and everybody is playing their part. Overall, it's been a good challenge for me and a positive challenge.'