Norwich City’s Leon Barnett reveals Cardiff loan move came totally out of the blue

Norwich City defender Leon Barnett aims to make the most of his Championship loan move to Cardiff. P

Norwich City defender Leon Barnett aims to make the most of his Championship loan move to Cardiff. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City defender Leon Barnett is hoping to play his part in another successful promotion push – after making a winning start to his loan spell with Cardiff.

Malky Mackay's capture from the Canaries made his debut in Saturday's 2-0 win at Sheffield Wednesday, which left the Welsh club seven points clear at the top of the Championship with a game in hand.

Barnett, who has not started a Premier League game for City for more than five months, said he welcomed the opportunity to play first team football again.

'Playing for a team who are top of the Championship is perfect for me,' he said. 'These are the matches I want to be involved in, playing for a successful team and maybe helping Cardiff earn promotion.'

The 27-year-old Barnett has been signed on a month's loan and will be available for all but Cardiff's three scheduled final Championship fixtures.

'I'm just looking at the month right at the moment, but if I'm asked to be here for more than that I would talk to my agent about that,' said Barnett. 'I wasn't playing matches at Norwich and it's great to be involved with Cardiff. It was right out of the blue. I was sitting on the sofa at home watching television when I got the call. The two gaffers had talked and I jumped at the chance. This is a challenge I need.

'Joining the leaders is as exciting as a loan move can get. The win against Wednesday has put a smile on my face and I have two weeks to train with the squad before our next match against Peterborough. The international break gives me time to settle in Cardiff. I knew three or four of the players before I came and it's already clear this is a good bunch of players. There is a good mentality here.'

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Barnett won promotion to the top flight with West Bromwich Albion in 2008 and Norwich in 2011, but insists it is too early to talk about a notable hat-trick.

'It's not time to talk about Cardiff being promoted,' he said. 'There are too many games to play for that, but the players have a great attitude. There is a lot of quality in this team, but the team are prepared to grind it out when needed.

'This team is up there with the Albion and Norwich squads I was in and, if anything, Cardiff have even more attributes. I see no reason why Cardiff won't be promoted, but we still have a lot of work to do.'