Nelson happy to do his bit for Norwich City
Michael Nelson says he's happy to do his bit for the Norwich City promotion challenge – even though he's now battling to avoid the drop back into League One.
The man whose goals against Charlton and Gillingham last season secured City's return to the Championship at the first attempt and then secured the title to boot, swapped another promotion chase for a relegation battle with Scunthorpe last month. But while he may be gone, he certainly hasn't been forgotten –his man of the match performance in the Iron's victory over Nottingham Forest was saluted by the Canaries faithful who saw one of their nearest rivals drop valuable points.
For Nelson it's all about Scunthorpe – but he admits that success against the top clubs have a double meaning.
'I'm just concentrating on the effect it is going to have on us at the minute, but anything else is a bonus really for the lads who are still down there,' admitted the 30-year-old. 'I did have a couple of texts before the game and a few more afterwards, so it was nice to do them a favour.'
Scunthorpe face Swansea tomorrow and still have the return game against Forest to come, as well as games against Leicester and QPR.
But Nelson believes City are perfectly capable of fighting their own battles as they go for a second, and much more unlikely, promotion.
'I think Norwich have got a great chance,' he said. 'You see them playing against all the teams up there and around them and they are picking points up and still showing the attitude to score late on in games, which doesn't allow teams to settle before the end of the game because you always know there is a chance they are going to get back in the game, as they did with Reading.
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'I think they have got a great chance, they have got to be one of the form teams at the minute. I think you will see other teams drop points between now and the end of the season, but they have got to try and keep their consistency and hopefully stay away from injuries.
'I know Leon (Barnett) has picked a bad one up. I spoke to him the other week, so hopefully Zak (Whitbread) and Wardy (Elliott Ward) can stay fit and stay in there until the end of the season and hopefully they will have a good chance.'
Nelson left because he wanted to play games, rather than watch from the sidelines - and while Barnett's injury may have given him that opportunity, he believes the move was the best deal for everyone.
'The game before I left I didn't even make the bench,' he said. 'When everybody is fully fit it is hard. That is why the club is doing so well, because they have such strength in depth. You see some of the players who can't even get on the bench let alone get in the starting XI. That's part of the reason they are doing so well and are so high in the league. You need to have a strong squad in depth to challenge the XI that are in there and I think the manager is showing all the time that when he does change it, whoever he puts in tends to do a job.
'When I left Norwich I think they were sitting second in the table, and Scunthorpe were sitting second from the bottom. It was a big change, but one I felt that I had to make to try and get some football.
'My time at Norwich was easily the most enjoyable and definitely the most successful 18 months of my career. It would have been nice to stay for longer and I probably could have just sat around and been on the fringes until the end of the season and hanging on to the chance of maybe getting a promotion, but you don't really feel that much of a part of it when you are not really involved.
'I want to be playing week in, week out and if that meant going to Scunthorpe and trying to help them get out of the trouble they were in that is what I felt I had to do.'
City boss Paul Lambert admitted he thought long and hard before allowing Nelson to leave and sign a two-and-a-half-year deal with Scunthorpe.
'He was brilliant with it,' said Nelson. 'He told me the offer had come in and said on a personal note if he was going to be completely selfish he would have just turned the offer down and kept me, but he said he felt he owed it to me for what I had done for the club and for him in the time I had been there to give me the opportunity to make my own mind up and make my decision on my future and obviously I chose to go to Scunthorpe.
'It would have been quite easy to sit around and stay there and ride the wave Norwich are on, but I want to be playing football and I am pleased Paul Lambert gave me the opportunity to make the decision itself.'
Nelson's deal came late on transfer deadline day and his returns to Carrow Road on April 2 gives fans the chance to thank him for a job well done since his arrival from Hartlepool in June, 2009.
'I think it's nice we have still got to come down because I didn't have a chance to say goodbye to everyone, let alone the fans, so it will be nice to experience that,' he said. 'Hopefully we can get enough points, whether it includes that one or not, to keep us in the league.'