Croft is looking forward to return

PUBLISHED: 13:53 03 September 2007 | UPDATED: 10:32 14 September 2010

Lee Croft's delight at news of a big date with former club Manchester City was tempered by a numbing home defeat at the hands of Cardiff. The Canaries have been handed a Carling Cup third round trip to the City of Manchester Stadium to face former England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson's team in the week starting September 24.

Lee Croft's delight at news of a big date with former club Manchester City was tempered by a numbing home defeat at the hands of Cardiff.

The Canaries have been handed a Carling Cup third round trip to the City of Manchester Stadium to face former England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson's team in the week starting September 24.

But just hours after the draw was made, Peter Grant's men crashed 2-1 to the Bluebirds at Carrow Road - no way to go into a fortnight's break.

City winger Croft, reduced to the role of late substitute, was on the field just two minutes before Roger Johnson headed Cardiff's winner.

He said: “It's always disappointing when you've come out of a game and lost, especially just before the international break.

“We'd rather have gone into it with a win, with our heads held high. Losing a game like that today and having two weeks before you can put it right is a big disappointment.”

The events of the afternoon dampened Croft's enthusiasm at the chance of a return to Manchester for himself and Darren Huckerby.

But he said: “It's great for me to go back to my old club and see a lot of players I haven't seen for a while. It'll be a nice occasion.

“With Sven having been England manager it's good to go and play against one of his teams. It will be a tough game but, as all the lads have asked me, it will be a nice stage to play on, a really nice stadium, against one of the better teams in the league at the moment.

“It's especially nice for me and Darren, ex-players with Manchester City, to see a few old faces.

“I speak to quite a few of them, Micah Richard and Stephen Ireland and the young lads I grew up with. Sven's put them in the spotlight and they seem to be carrying on doing well.”

Grant admitted: “We would have preferred a home draw. It would have been nice to take on a side of the quality of Manchester City at Carrow Road in front of a full house. But we will relish the challenge.

“Manchester City will fancy their chances of winning the competition. But we will be going there looking to cause an upset.”

The Canaries have been drawn against Manchester City three times in the League Cup competition - but went out on each occasion.

In 1975-76, a 1-1 draw in the second round at Carrow Road and a 2-2 draw in the replay at Maine Road were followed by a 6-1 hammering in the second replay on neutral territory at Stamford Bridge.

In 1978-79, the Blues won 3-1 in the fourth round at Carrow Road after Martin Peters had given the Canaries the lead.

Mel Machin was in charge of Manchester City when Norwich suffered another defeat, 3-1 in the third round at Maine Road in 1989-90.

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