Norwich City defender Javier Garrido expects no old pals’ act at former club Manchester City
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Spanish defender Javier Garrido has spoken of his joy at the moment he knew his Norwich City future was secure.
The 28-year-old full-back has signed a two-year deal with the Canaries after appearing in all but three of their Premier League fixtures during his season on loan from Lazio, who have now accepted an undisclosed fee for his transfer to Carrow Road.
Garrido knew his own fate and that of the team depended greatly on City's final home game against West Bromwich Albion, so a 4-0 victory, guaranteeing survival, meant a huge release of tension for both player and club.
He said: 'When Jonny Howson scored the fourth goal, I said 'Yes, that's done', because the last three or four weeks the team has been suffering and worrying about a win – we have to do it and we need to do it and I think it was a must-win against West Brom. With the fourth goal, that was an amazing moment because everything became real – we were safe and we are staying up.'
Garrido, preparing for tomorrow's final fixture of the season away to former club Manchester City (4pm), admitted City's run of just two wins in 19 league games leading up to the Albion fixture had taken its toll.
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He said: 'If I am honest, I was a little bit worried because you know when you are trying to get a good result, just to forget about the bottom position, and you don't get it, next week you have another opportunity. But in the Premier League it is so difficult to get points.
'Not just me, everyone was a little bit worried, but in the end the team showed the character and the result on Sunday was amazing so everyone was definitely happy.'
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Garrido's permanent move was announced 48 hours after Sunday's biggest win of the season.
'It's going to be two years plus one option so it's a good moment for me because that's what I was looking for,' he said. 'It's good to have played as many games as I did so it's a great moment. When we won, I knew how happy I was because I knew that a permanent deal will be real. It was a good moment for me. Now it is job done and we are looking forward to playing our last game and hopefully the team will put on a great performance in Manchester.
'It's going to be a good game to play because I have friends there and also good memories. It's going to be the last game but we need to go there and do well.'
Garrido has been in touch with former Manchester City team-mate Pablo Zabaleta and one-time youth international colleague David Silva ahead of tomorrow's fixture, but there will be no reunion with his former boss Roberto Mancini, sacked by the Blues on Monday.
Said Garrido: 'I worked with him his first six months and I don't have anything against him. He came to England with his culture, the way he wanted to work and he won the FA Cup and the Premier League. They lost the FA Cup final last week but I think the supporters used to like him. In the end, it's an executive decision.
'I played with David Silva from under-15 to under-21 with national squad so I have a very good relationship with him. I am looking forward to seeing him. I texted him three or four weeks ago and he told me for us it would be better to have the job done before we go. He is a good guy.'
Garrido admitted he still looks back fondly on his time in Manchester before moving onto Rome and now Norfolk.
He said: 'My time in Manchester I have good memories. Usually as players we are more happy than when we are not playing. As the time passed and the owner has put up a lot of money to get new players and new signings so that always put the level so high and when you have been involved you are more happy than not but in general I think I have good memories. It was my first club (abroad), I went there so young, so I don't have bad memories.
'Yes I was sad to leave, because it's not just about football. I met people as part of the football and the place I used to live, I have friends in there, so it was a complete situation for me apart from football. I had a good lifestyle.'