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Norwich City will not be bullied in Championship promotion scrap

Paul Warne was impressed with Norwich City's fighting spirit 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Paul Warne was impressed with Norwich City's fighting spirit Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Paul Chesterton

Paul Warne insists his Canaries have the ‘backbone’ to sustain a Championship promotion tilt.

The boyhood fan and Rotherham United chief lost 3-1 last weekend on his first managerial outing at Carrow Road.

That defeat ended a run of seven league games unbeaten, which included tussles against Sheffield United and Middlesbrough, and Warne is convinced City can last the pace against those rivals.

“I am not a gambler but I would think Norwich finish top six but where I don’t know,” he said. “My opinion is pretty rubbish though. I tipped Brentford to go up after the first game of the new season because that was the best team I have seen.

“Literally we could have had 15 players on the pitch and we wouldn’t have won. Leeds have been very good, Sheffield United very good.

Paul Warne was impressed with Norwich City's fighting spirit 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdPaul Warne was impressed with Norwich City's fighting spirit Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

“I just think it is the teams that can grind out wins and Norwich historically are not that good at doing that. They either win comfortably or lose.

“We are a quite physical team so to win comfortably from conceding first is a testament to them and their credentials. They have got a bit of backbone.

“Norwich deserved the win. They created more chances than we did. They are very good players. They are well coached and highly motivated. We made a couple of errors and against very good teams you will be punished.”

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Warne’s landmark return to Norfolk proved bittersweet, and that has been a common theme for the Millers’ manager at Carrow Road.

“I played there a couple of times for Rotherham but never had the joy, I say joy, of standing in the technical area,” he said. “I came for a trial at 15 with Chris Sutton when we played for Harford Tornadoes.

!Came for a trial on the Thursday, I remember it vividly. Keith Webb was the youth team manager at the time. I trained Thursday and Friday and for anyone who lived in Norfolk to play for Norwich was the dream. I was told they would phone me Monday and get me back in. I love Webby but I never forgave him for that.

“I ended up playing at Yarmouth, Diss, went to university in Nottingham and travelled back every weekend with my mates and loved it. Then we won (the FA Vase) at Wembley and the following year I signed for Wroxham.

“I did score a hat-trick there for Wroxham against Diss, which was a bit awkward.”

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