We make the Canaries sing for Derby County Mad

Last updated : 17 August 2006 By Rams Mad Editor

As the Rams look forward to the visit of Norwich City this weekend we have asked "The Coroner" columnist of "The Nest" a Norwich City fans website to give us his views on the Canaries and the Rams, plus a score prediction for Saturday's game


What will represent a successful season in most Norwich fans' opinions ?

Most Norwich fans expect us to reach the play-offs this season as an absolute minimum.

How do you rate your chances this season ?

If you had asked me before the first game of the season I would have said Play-Offs would be a 50/50 chance.After our first 3 games I have to say that we will definitely make the top six if we carry on in the same vein.

New players - who's come in and how are they shaping up ?

We've only signed one player – Lee Croft from Man City.He's a young right-winger and fills a position that has been vacant for about 3 years.The other problem position was up front where the manager has made no secret of his desire for a big target man up front but our two targets wents elsewhere – Hulse to Sheff U and Howard to you lot.Now that we've seen Robert Green sold to West Ham today for £2m ,expect to see us add that big striker and a left back to the squad before the transfer window shuts.

We also added a new coach in the Summer – Martin Hunter from the England Youth set-up.He could be our best signing of the season.

Are the fans behind Nigel Worthington ?

If you'd have asked at the end of last season 90 % would have said no.If you'd asked the day before the season started it would have been 50/50.Right now the tide's back in his favour.There were demonstrations against him last year and it got so bad at one point that a small number of fans actually cheered opposition goals.The main problem wasn't just the lack of results but also the style of football we played in achieving nothing.Now we're playing football again,even the most vociferous protestors are willing to give him time.

Which of your players should Derby fans look out for on Saturday ?

Earnshaw , obviously, is a big threat who doesn't usually need more than a couple of chances to score.Dickspn Etuhu is a changed man in the middle of the pitch and he will run the game if your boys let him.Most teams in this division would like Huckerby too,he's a threat when he's on top of his game.

Of the players you have sold, who will be the biggest loss to the team ?

We haven't really lost anyone of note since last season.Obviously we will miss Green but I think the management had already started planning for life without him before last season ended.The player we mourn most is Dean Ashton who we lost in January.Not him personally,but we haven't replaced his physical presence up front (as yet).

What formation/tactics does Worthington favour ?

Again,if you had asked before the season started most City fans would have said aimless long ball stuff.The first 3 games of the season have heralded a completely different style.Short,crisp passing to feet and working the ball down the flanks.So far it's been a joy to watch.

How long have you been supporting Norwich ?

Since 1975 – 31 years.

What's your best moment as a Caneries fan ?

Winning the Milk Cup against Sunderland in 1985 – doubt I'll ever see a Norwich captain raise one of the major Cups at Wembley again !

And your worst ?

Surprisingly,not relegation a couple of years ago when we capitulated 6-0 to Fulham on the last day of the season,but it comes close.It's actually an FA Cup Semi-Final in 1992 when we lost to Sunderland 1-0 at Hillsborough.We've never reached the Cup Final and we were playing a team from a division below us – we'll never have a better chance again.


What do you think of Derby's chances this season ?

I thought you would struggle a bit but Davies seems to be adding some decent players so I'll say top 10 but not quite the play-offs.

Which Derby players do you rate ?

I've always rated Tommy Smith – I like his awareness of other players,the way he brings them into play.I saw that he could be leaving you in the Summer and half hoped we'd make a move for him. Idiakez is obviously a threat from dead ball situations but could he be any slower ?

What's your general impression of Derby as a club ?

I think that you suffer a bit from what I call ‘bigclubitis'.Past achievements should never be forgotten but its important to remember that the real glory days were 30 years ago and things change.Like us,the realistic target should be (A) to survive financially (B) hope for a few seasons in the top flight every now and then but accept that relegation is inevitable at some point.

And as a city ?

I've actually only visited the city once even though I've been to PP and the old ground 5 times in total.It was last year when we lost 2-0,a group of us went out in the city afterwards and it seemed a bit rough-we nearly got into a couple of scrapes.Perhaps we just went to the wrong area.

What's your impression of Billy Davies as a manager ?

I think his managerial skills will now be tested.He's at a club that clearly won't accept play off defeats every year so he's under more pressure to produce the goods.It will be interesting to see how he does outside the comfort zone that Preston afforded him.


Who do you think will be promoted this season ?

Birmingham & Norwich automatically.West Brom through the play-offs.

And who do you think will be relegated ?

Ipswich (please!) , Hull & Colchester.

If money was no object, which player from another Championship club would you most like Worthington to sign ?

John Hartson.

Finally, what's your score prediction for Saturday ?

2-1 to us.

Well there you have it, an in depth report from the view point of one Norwich fan. Derby County Mad wishes to thank the Coroner and The Nest website for his views and should you wish to see the corresponding view from a Rams fan on that site just click here.