Russell backs old team-mate
Former Norwich City star Darel Russell has backed former teammate Peter Grant to 'embrace' his new job in charge of the Canaries.Russell broke into the City team as Grant was becoming a regular at Carrow Road in the 1997/1998 season and played 147 times before moving to the Britannia Stadium in 2003, where he has become a first choice.
Former Norwich City star Darel Russell has backed former teammate Peter Grant to 'embrace' his new job in charge of the Canaries.
Russell broke into the City team as Grant was becoming a regular at Carrow Road in the 1997/1998 season and played 147 times before moving to the Britannia Stadium in 2003, where he has become a first choice.
But the London-born midfielder can remember his time alongside Grant when he made his debut as a teenager in the City midfield.
“When I broke into the Norwich team in 1997/98 I played alongside Peter Grant,” Russell said.
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”I don't know about me being his legs, it was probably the other way round because he was always a very professional and very fit guy. He was a big help and it was nice to play alongside someone of that character and experience. It can only help a youngster.
“He was always very vocal, especially with that strong Scottish accent of his.”
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And Russell added that he felt Grant was always destined for to become a manager when his playing days had finished.
“I think he always had coaching in mind after he finished playing and going back to Norwich will be an ideal move for him,” Russell said. “I think he will embrace the job. It's a huge club and Delia always gives plenty of enthusiasm.”
Meanwhile, Russell's manager Tony Pulis says he will not be extended the hand of friendship to Grant - until after Saturday's match.
Pulis says the pair are friends from Grant's days at Bournemouth but he has purposely not called to wish the 41-year-old good luck as the clash of two cities was just around the corner.
“He's a lovely lad, a gentleman,” Pulis said. “I haven't been in contact since he took over at Norwich because of the game against us coming up. I thought I'd better wait until after.
“It will be interesting to see him over a drink after the match because he'll soon be finding out there's a big difference between being a coach and being a manager. All the decisions are down to you then and it will be interesting to hear how he feels now he's had a few weeks in the job.
“I was very pleased he got his chance at Norwich because he'd earned it after doing well under Alan Pardew at West Ham.”
Pulis spied on Norwich earlier this week when depositing himself amongst the crowd for their penalty shootout defeat at Port Vale in the Carling Cup.
And he says he will warn his side to watch for Norwich on the counter attack.
“Our big concern will be making sure we are well set up when we have got possession in case they break on us,” he said.
Pulis saw his side's two-match winning run halted by last week's 1-0 defeat at Southampton.
For Saturday's game, he may be able to call on the services of winger Luke Chadwick and striker Mamady Sidibe who are both recovered from injury.
However, he could stick with a similar side to the one that lost to the Saints with Vincent Pericard and Ricardo Fuller up front and Russell in midfield, with Lee Hendrie, on loan from Villa, wide on the right.