Dowie's Worthy respect

PUBLISHED: 10:45 25 February 2006 | UPDATED: 09:14 14 September 2010

Crystal Palace hold an 11-point advantage over the Canaries going into today's game - but there's no way manager Iain Dowie will be underestimating the opposition.

Crystal Palace hold an 11-point advantage over the Canaries going into today's game - but there's no way manager Iain Dowie will be underestimating the opposition.

The Eagles' boss feels his good friend Nigel Worthington is turning things around at Carrow Road after a poor start to the season, and has warned his players to be on their guard this afternoon.

“Like everyone I've been a bit surprised that Norwich aren't closer to the top of the league, but having said that they've put a decent run of results together lately so we'll have to be on our toes on Saturday, that's for sure,” he said.

“I still think they're capable of having a say in the play-offs, and we'll have to make sure it's not at our expense.

"Nigel Worthington has instilled a great work ethic into his side, so they'll be very disciplined and committed. I know Nigel very well from our time together with Northern Ireland, so I've got a great deal of respect for him both as a man and a manager. He has his teams playing in the right manner, and if they can continue their run he'll believe they can still make the play-offs. We just hope that run materialises after Saturday.”

Dowie knows his former colleague has been going through a tough a late - but feels it won't be too long before the Norwich fans are fully behind him again.

"I know the Norwich fans have at times this season voiced their concerns, but that's only natural and the nature of the beast,” he said. “In some ways their situation mirrors ours, in that they were relegated from the Premiership and perhaps haven't fared as well this year as some people might have hoped for or expected.

“The expectation in some quarters this year is that they were going to win every game, but that was never going to happen. The fans have vented their frustration at times, and we've had that once or twice at Selhurst Park this season. But the fans pay their money so they're entitled to have their say. It goes with the territory.

"But the club's definitely moved upwards under Nigel, so the fans would do well to bear that in mind. The training ground set-up is very good and the squad's one of the best in the league, even after they sold Dean Ashton. So everything's in place. And in fairness to them, they've had a horrible time with injuries this season. So if they don't go up this time round, you'd have to fancy them strongly to do so next year."

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