Nelson has no regrets about leaving Norwich City

Norwich City's popular former League One title winner Michael Nelson insists he had 'no regrets' over missing out on the Canaries' Premier League success.

Nelson joined Scunthorpe during the January transfer window in a search for regular first-team football, but ended the campaign back in English football's third tier after the Iron's relegation.

The 31-year-old made eight appearances in the Canaries' successful Championship promotion season, but the arrival of Leon Barnett pushed the no-nonsense centre-back further down the pecking order.

City chief Paul Lambert admitted at the time that sanctioning Nelson's New Year departure had been a tough decision – but the Gateshead-born defender admitted it was the right move for his career.

'A lot of people have asked if I've got any regrets and if I should have stayed at Norwich,' he said.

'But, if I wasn't going to be playing football and my contract was up this summer, for all the getting promoted to the Premier League, I would have been looking for a club come the summer, along with another couple of hundred players.

'It was the right time, the right deal and the right club to come to. It didn't work out as everyone hoped it would this year, but that's football.

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'You've just got to concentrate on being part of the manager's plans next year and helping to bring Scunthorpe back to the Championship.

'The last two seasons I've been part of two promotion campaigns, albeit only a small part this season at Norwich. It's something that's at the back of your mind and is something you can get quite used to.

'That feeling of getting a club promoted and doing well, it's something you want to experience time and again. Hopefully, starting next season, we can look to build towards that.'

Nelson endured a miserable homecoming when he was part of the Scunthorpe side hammered 6-0 last month in new boss Alan Knill's first game at the helm.

But the defender revealed he was one of the first to congratulate his former team mates after watching Lambert's side memorably clinch automatic promotion at Portsmouth.

'I spoke to a couple of the Norwich boys straight after the game when they were in the changing room,' he said.

'It has been mixed emotions. I'm thrilled to bits for them and thrilled for everyone connected with the club, especially the manager (Paul Lambert) – he was great during my time there.

'It's nice to see them do it, but I'm a Scunthorpe player now. If I wasn't going to be playing and was only going to be on the sidelines, I don't think I'd feel any more of a part of it than I do now. I'd rather be out playing football than sitting on the sidelines and watching from afar.'

n Ryman Premier Division outfit Billericay have announced a pre-season friendly against a Norwich City XI on Thursday, August 4. (7.30pm).

The two clubs established a youth tie up last season which saw Billericay host the Canaries' Essex development centre.