Warm welcome for Adie

It's no surprise to Nigel Worthington that his former youth team coach Adrian Boothroyd has made such an impressive start to his managerial career. Since leaving Norwich City in controversial circumstances a couple of years ago, Boothroyd has moved quickly up the footballing ladder, with tomorrow's visitors Watford flourishing in spectacular fashion under his astute leadership.

It's no surprise to Nigel Worthington that his former youth team coach Adrian Boothroyd has made such an impressive start to his managerial career.

Since leaving Norwich City in controversial circumstances a couple of years ago, Boothroyd has moved quickly up the footballing ladder, with tomorrow's visitors Watford flourishing in spectacular fashion under his astute leadership.

Boothroyd, at 34 one of the youngest managers in the Football League, has guided the Hornets to the heady heights of fourth place in the Championship table in his first full season in charge - and will be looking to consolidate that impressive position at the weekend when he makes his first official visit back to Carrow Road since he moved on.

Worthington always thought his Academy coach had the potential to go a long way - and made the point in no uncertain fashion when Boothroyd quit the Canaries, saying greater efforts should have been made to keep him on board.

But that's water under the bridge now, and the City manager is pleased to see Boothroyd doing well, even though he will be doing his utmost to put one over him tomorrow.

“I brought Adie in here as youth team manager and he did ever so well for us,” he said.

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“I would love to have kept him at the club because you need good people around you. I have got a lot of time for Adie - he is a very good coach and as a manager those are not the sort of people you want to lose. But he wanted to get on.

“He went on to West Brom as Academy director, Leeds as first team coach and he finished in the Watford job, where he is doing an excellent job. They are scoring goals, they are tight at the back and are doing well at the moment.”

It promises to be an afternoon of reunions, with Malky Mackay also returning to Carrow Road for the first time since his surprise departure at the beginning of the 2004-5 Premiership season.

The big Scot gave the Canaries six years of tremendous service before being sold off, after making 232 appearances and scoring 16 goals, and Worthington is sure the popular defender will get a tremendous reception before kick-off. But after that he hopes supporters will switch their attention to the men in yellow and green, and give them the backing they need as the attempt to close a 10-point gap between themselves and Mackay's new employers.

“Malky is still well liked here and will get a good reception - that is something he fully deserves,” said the City boss. “But after that everyone must focus on getting behind their own team.

“It's a good game for us and a hard game too. It will be hard-fought, it will be very competitive. And we have got to be ready for it.

“When we played them at Vicarage Road in September we didn't perform at our best for the first 45 minutes and Watford took full advantage of that. In the second half it was a different ball game, but we were playing catch-up by then and weren't able to get there in the end.

“It's one of those games where I will be looking for a big performance.”