Defender could be keen on extending stay at City

PUBLISHED: 12:00 18 September 2010 | UPDATED: 10:35 14 October 2010

Michael Bailey

Leon Barnett has hinted he would fancy a permanent move to Norwich City when his loan stint from West Bromwich Albion ends in the New Year.

The 24-year-old centre-back has slotted in well since being drafted in by City boss Paul Lambert at the end of August, starting in the draw at Nottingham Forest, last weekend's home win over Barnsley and the midweek loss at Doncaster.

Leon Barnett has hinted he would fancy a permanent move to Norwich City when his loan stint from West Bromwich Albion ends in the New Year.

The 24-year-old centre-back has slotted in well since being drafted in by City boss Paul Lambert at the end of August, starting in the draw at Nottingham Forest, last weekend's home win over Barnsley and the midweek loss at Doncaster.

The former Luton defender admitted he enjoys going out on loan - he spent the majority of last season at Coventry City - and whether finances at Carrow Road could accommodate a longer stay for a player currently attached to a Premier League club remains to be seen. But with discussions on his future on hold until January, Barnett could be tempted by a move away from The Hawthorns.

“It feels similar (to his spell at Coventry); it's still early days obviously,” said Barnett. “I've only played three games and I'm just trying to play as many games as I can.

“I'm enjoying myself, that's the main thing. And then we see what happens at the end of the loan.

“At the moment I'm here until January, so I'm just going to look forward to January and see what happens.

“When I was at Coventry I did feel like I was a permanent player. I think the boys treated me well and it's the same here really. No one has really had any grudges with anyone or... well, I don't know if they do dislike me but no one has ever said that they dislike me, so it's always a pleasure to be on loan.

“I like being on loan, but hopefully we can make it a permanent. We'll see.”

Barnett was originally brought in as cover for Michael Nelson, who is out with an ankle injury until the end of October, and he is hoping a first clean sheet will be quick to come after City conceded three goals for the third time in all competitions this season at the Keepmoat on Tuesday.

Tuesday's goals all came from the boot of James Coppinger, but the second was one that particularly rankled with Barnett and goalkeeper John Ruddy beaten to the ball.

“We all spoke about it and defensively we were all a bit disappointed on how it went in,” admitted Barnett, who is playing alongside Elliott Ward for a second successive season after his central-defensive partner joined City from the Sky Blues in the summer.

“We've been in training and ran over a few things so it won't happen again, and hopefully it won't happen again for the rest of the season.

“It is hard, whenever you go a goal down first it's always going to be hard to come back. I think it's vital, the first goal, and then you need to kick on.

“It was disappointing, definitely not a good point, to concede three goals. We didn't play as well as we have been but we've still got more games to play and hopefully the more we play the more we all gel.

“Me, Elliott, we're defenders and we have something in common - that we don't want to concede goals. That's the main point, we're here to defend. Trying to keep a clean sheet is what we're trying to do every game.

“But I'm pleased with my performances so far. I was quite surprised when I first came here with the way we played. I thought the ball would probably be in the air, but it hasn't been that much, and I'm quite pleased with the way the boys have taken me on board and they way we are playing football.”

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