Forbes backs Norwich City to see off Swansea
Former Norwich City winger Adrian Forbes believes games like the Canaries' home Premier League clash against Swansea City on Saturday will define their season.
While Paul Lambert's men have held their own against some of the leading lights of the top-flight so far, Forbes thinks Norwich must focus on winning their 'mini-league' consisting of the likes of QPR, Wolves, Bolton and this weekend's opponents.
'It's obviously great playing against the Manchester Uniteds and Arsenals but Norwich will be looking to win the mini-league against the likes of Swansea, QPR, Wolves, Bolton etc,' said Forbes, who played his part in the Swans' rise through the divisions from 2004 to 2006.
'That's who they will be looking to take points off. Norwich have shown they can hold their own against United and Chelsea so far this season but looking over the years, these aren't normally the games that decide your fate.'
As promoted sides, both City and Swansea have used that momentum to make promising starts to their Premier League campaigns and Forbes believes the novelty of playing against some of the world's best players won't have worn off just yet.
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'As players they will be buzzing off testing themselves against the best,' he added. 'As a defender you want to go up against Wayne Rooney or a striker going up against Rio Ferdinand. You might come out second best but that challenge spurs you on.
'If there is to be a dip I think it would probably come after Christmas when you've played everyone once. But I don't expect that to happen to this Norwich side – the management won't allow the players to fall into that trap.'
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Forbes always thought that it was only a matter of time before both Swansea and the Canaries were fighting it out in the top-flight but didn't expect it to happen quite so quickly.
'Everything was in place at Swansea for them to kick on but I suppose, like Norwich, I'm surprised at how quickly they have gone on to achieve Premier League football.
'They have had a few managers but with each one of them there has been a bit of continuity in terms of how they like to play their football.
'I always thought both sides would get back there but that it would take a little longer. The fact it has happened so quickly is down to how well both clubs are run from top to bottom now.'
Forbes, who is currently coaching the Norwich City Under-10 and Under-11 sides whilst also turning out for Lowestoft Town in the Ryman League Premier, is tipping Lambert's men to have the edge on Saturday but can see both sides maintaining their Premier Division status at the end of the season.
'I'm going to have to go for a Norwich win – I think at Carrow Road, Lambert's side will have just a little bit too much for Swansea.
'I know it's a cliche but I really feel that football will be the true winner. Both sides like to play good football and I think fans can expect a really good game.
'In saying that I can see both sides staying up to be honest. There's always one or two established teams that get sucked into the mire like West Ham did last season.
'I can see the same thing happening again and it would be a great achievement for both clubs to survive.'