Norwich will always be special - Svensson

Norwich City old boy Mathias Svensson admits Norfolk remains close to his heart ahead of tomorrow's League One meeting between the Canaries and another of his former clubs, Charlton Athletic, at The Valley.

Norwich City old boy Mathias Svensson admits Norfolk remains close to his heart ahead of tomorrow's League One meeting between the Canaries and another of his former clubs, Charlton Athletic, at The Valley.

The Swede, currently director of football at Elfsborg, cites his 18-month Carrow Road stint as the most enjoyable of his five club English career. Svensson is backing Paul Lambert's current crop to emulate his achievement in winning a league title as part of Nigel Worthington's 2004 Championship squad.

'I had a good time at every club I was at but I think living wise, when I speak to everyone these days in Sweden, I always say Norwich has a special place in my heart,' said Svensson. 'We were only there for a year and a half and the relegation was obviously a heartbreaking thing, but the year running up to that I think was the best we had in all my time in England. So I miss it a lot.'

Svensson believes City must show strong leadership over the run in after a second consecutive away league defeat at Orient in midweek.

'I think it's all about leadership actually, leadership on and off the pitch regarding how you go into the games,' said Svensson. 'You need people to push you on to get the three points and the leadership can make a big difference at this stage of the season. Be it the captain, whoever, they are really important. Gary Doherty, he was there when I played. He can be one of those players to push the others on and I'm sure there are a few in the team.

'We had quite a few I think when we went up. When I was there, there must have been four or five of us on the pitch who tried to do our bit to try and push everyone else and I think that is crucial in the end for teams to go forward.'

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The 35-year-old, who retired because of injury in 2008, feels Norwich have still got it good compared to their promotion rivals - including Charlton, who City travel to on Saturday

'Norwich have a different pressure compared to the other teams,' said Svensson. 'For Charlton, Millwall and Leeds, they are still a few points behind and that is more pressure. Norwich have the advantage and that always makes it a little bit easier compared to those teams who have other people chasing them within one or two points. Norwich are still six points clear of second and that should make it easy.

'For Norwich it is looking OK. Maybe not good on Tuesday, but we had that when I was at Charlton and we got promoted to the Premier League, and also with Norwich.'

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