Norwich City’s Elliott Ward is ‘Premier standard’

Norwich City's Elliott Ward is Premier League class – according to Burnley player Danny Fox, who will bid to put one over his old pal in tomorrow's Championship tussle at Carrow Road.

Central defender Ward has earned rave reviews alongside Leon Barnett during City's impressive early season league run and Fox insists his ex-Coventry team mate could operate in the top flight. The 24-year-old former Celtic defender believes Paul Lambert pulled off a summer coup to entice Ward to Carrow Road on a free transfer.

'He is a top player for me,' said Fox. 'I don't really know what went on at Coventry. They had a lot of centre halves at the time but when I was there with him he was a big mate of mine – I was really close to him.

'He has won promotion with West Ham from this league and I have no doubt he can play at the highest level. He's not just a big centre half, he can play with the ball really well on the floor. I'm pleased for him to be doing so well down there because at Coventry he was different class. It's worked out a good move and he is probably nearer home now with him being from the south so I'm sure that has also helped him settle in quite quickly.'

Fox scored the 'best goal of his career' on his previous Carrow Road visit in Coventry's 2-1 league win two seasons ago before clinching a big-money move north of the border.

'It was a good, good day and that was probably the best goal of my career,' said the Scotland international. 'Jordan Henderson put us 1-0 up, Jonathan Grounds I think equalised, who was on loan from Middlesbrough at the time, but we were playing really well. It was the weekend before we had Chelsea in the FA Cup.

'We had a corner and maybe I was just a bit too lazy to get back because I shouldn't have been up there in the first place but the ball broke to me. I remember looking up and Elliott was screaming for it. I could hear him but I thought there was no chance he was getting it because he is a centre half and you know what they are like in the other box. It's a great atmosphere and a great stadium to play at –definitely one of the best in the Championship and I'm looking forward to going there.'

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Fox is well aware Norwich present a formidable obstacle after building on last season's League One triumph.

'They've got some good results since coming back up,' he said. 'I know they were beaten by Cardiff at the weekend but I saw an interview afterwards with Dave Jones who was saying at 2-0 it was anybody's game and if they hadn't scored so quickly after Norwich got back into it they could have been in trouble.

'I also think the penalty was harsh. They got a point at QPR as well so we know it will be a very tough game but you don't get an easy team in this league. It's a very hard league. Norwich are a good Championship team and have been a Premiership team in recent years. Just like Millwall they have come up from League One and done well so you don't take any team for granted.'

Fox warns the Clarets are playing well enough to pick up their first away league win since being relegated from the Premiership after matching the Canaries with a battling point at QPR last time out.

'We came away from QPR a bit down to be honest,' he said. 'They scored a really good goal from (Adel) Taarabt but even before that Paddy Kenny had made a couple of brilliant saves. We were disappointed not to come away with three points, like we have on a few occasions away from home. You look at the squad and the depth we have and its not that we have played particularly badly away. We've been unlucky at times. I think it just comes down to not taking our chances. Perhaps at home the way we play the game is a bit more open, whereas away the onus is on us to be solid and counter-attack more.'

Burnley head to Carrow Road only two points behind the Canaries and Fox is convinced the Clarets can clinch a instant top flight return.

'It's a tough league, like we said before, but you see the likes of Newcastle and West Brom who bounced back at the first attempt and you look at them now,' he said. 'Look at what they are doing in the Premiership – they are holding their own in the top half. You never know in the Championship what can happen. If we can just stay together and then in January if the gaffer decides to bring in one or two just to spice it up you never know. I don't know whether he wants to do that, but with the lads we already here there is a good mix of youth and experience with players from when the club went up before.'