No divided loyalties for Birmingham old boys Cameron Jerome and Nathan Redmond as Norwich City look to push on
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Head must rule heart for Cameron Jerome and Nathan Redmond when they attempt to inflict fresh pain on former club Birmingham City.
Redmond was a boyhood Blue who joined his hometown club as an eight-year-old before becoming their second youngest ever senior debutant eight years later back in 2010.
Jerome was the last man to notch double figures in the top flight for the ailing St Andrews' outfit and was also a League Cup winner in that Wembley surprise against Arsenal.
Both are now an integral part of Norwich City's Championship promotion push, and Jerome insists genuine affection will be put on hold for 90 minutes at Carrow Road.
'It is actually nice to play against Birmingham. I really enjoyed my time there. I had five good seasons and achieved a lot of things,' he said. 'It will always be a club I hold in high regard and I will always have a lot of respect for the fans and the people who work there. I still have friends who work there and who support the club so it is a special club and it has a place in my heart, but this is a new chapter for me now. I am a Norwich City so I won't be showing any sentimental feelings towards them.'
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Redmond's roots run even deeper. The England Under-21 international's displays in recent weeks suggest he will have a major say in City's promotion bid after intense speculation surrounding his future during he summer transfer window.
'Nathan is a very exciting prospect. He was 16 when I first saw him and he came into the first team environment at Birmingham,' said Jerome. 'The way he trained and joined in some of our sessions you could see he was always as confident then as he is now. He plays his own game his own way and that makes him the player he is. Top players have that confidence and self-belief in their ability and I would put Nathan in that bracket.
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'Norwich is the right place for him. He is playing regular games and developing. For whatever reason a move didn't happen in the summer but that is behind him now. He seems happy and settled and relishing his surroundings and he has a lot of friends here.'
Jerome has already underlined his true value to the Norwich cause with four goals since his Stoke move, capped by a thumping strike to seal the midweek 3-0 win at Brentford.
'I knew it was in straight away when I hit it,' he said. 'I always say I don't shoot enough, especially outside the penalty area. I'm quite an unselfish player in that respect and people always tell me I should shoot more. The manager says the same so I just took that on board and luckily it went in and not into the stand.'