Darel has a debt to repay

Paddy Davitt Norwich midfielder Darel Russell has admitted he is desperate to take out his red card misery on Coventry in the Championship at the Ricoh this weekend.

Paddy Davitt

Norwich midfielder Darel Russell last night admitted he is desperate to take out his red card misery on Coventry in the Championship at the Ricoh this weekend.

Russell returns to Glenn Roeder's squad after serving a three game ban for his sending off in City's 4-0 defeat at Leicester last month.

The combative midfielder's 'rash challenge' on Richard Stearman sparked a minor melee at The Walkers Stadium as the club's 13-game unbeaten league run ground to a halt in the East Midlands mud.

“It was my mistake but I paid a heavy price,” said Russell. “I'm just glad to be back involved because it's difficult watching games. There's nothing worse than training all week and not being able to play at the. For me, it was just one of those things that happen in football. I felt it was harsh because I wanted to go and win the ball.

“Maybe it was a little rash. We were losing the game and there was a bit of frustration. I have to hold my hands up although I've probably made worse challenges in my career which haven't earned a yellow card.

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“To miss out on two home games and then a fantastic away one at a top of the table side like Watford is tough because they are the games you want to play in as a footballer.”

The 27-year-old is taking nothing for granted ahead of the club's Ricoh test despite forging an impressive midfield alliance alongside skipper Mark Fotheringham during City's new year revival.

“All I can do is continue to train hard and hope I show the manager enough to get back in the team,” he said. “The one upside of not playing the last few games is I've been able to rest a niggly injury so I feel fit and fresh. Coventry is the sort of game you can look forward to. It's a nice stadium and the pitch was good last year. They're a big club that isn't doing quite as well as it should for a club that size.

“We expect a tough battle but it's one that I'm relishing. Since the manager came in we've had a very good away record and that gives us confidence to go anywhere and win. We just need to go and enjoy ourselves.”

Russell insists Norwich still have plenty to play for over the Championship finale.

“I'm looking forward, not back - that's the way I see things,” he said. “Even when we were bottom of the league that was how we had to look at it. Now it's about seeing how far we can go. We must keep playing and getting ourselves as far up that table as we can. If it gets to a stage when we are not challenging for anything then we'll deal with that but one thing you do know is all the games will be competitive.

“Players here also know they have to do well because they must prove they can be a part of the manager's plan for next season and beyond.”