Nelson has plenty in reserve for East Anglian derby

PUBLISHED: 07:00 28 October 2009 | UPDATED: 16:40 10 September 2010

Michael Nelson, pictured here scoring against his former club Hartlepool United earlier this season.

Michael Nelson, pictured here scoring against his former club Hartlepool United earlier this season.

Chris Lakey

Michael Nelson says he's relishing the chance to play in his first East Anglian derby- even if it is only the second edition version. The Canaries central defender will run out at Portman Road this afternoon for a reserve league game which he hopes will propel him back into the first team picture.

Michael Nelson says he's relishing the chance to play in his first East Anglian derby- even if it is only the second edition version.

The Canaries central defender will run out at Portman Road this afternoon for a reserve league game which he hopes will propel him back into the first team picture.

Nelson did make a surprise appearance as a late sub at the weekend, but it was a case of needs must for manager Paul Lambert, who admitted he would have preferred the former Hartlepool defender's return to have been delayed.

“I've been doing a bit of running with the physio and towards the back end of the week I joined in with the lads and the squad went up and I was in it,” he said. “And when the manager announced the squad on the day I was on the bench and then with about five or 10 minutes to go I got the shout to get warmed up and he put me on and put Jens (Berthel Askou) to right back.

“It was a bit of a surprise to be straight on the bench and definitely to get straight back on after not training a great deal and not having minutes under my belt in the reserves.

“But I am over the moon to be back involved in training, but to actually get on the pitch, even though it was only a couple of minutes it was nice to get back out there.”

For Nelson it's a second bid to get back into the first team, after being dropped after the opening day home debacle against Colchester and then suffering a foot injury at MK Dons in mid-September.

“I've been though it before where I've been out of a side and you have to be a bit patient and play yourself back in, but there are reserve games coming up and hopefully I can prove myself there and prove myself in training in front of the manager and do well enough to get in the side again,” he said.

Nelson's first chance comes at Portman Road this afternoon when he joins Owain Tudur Jones and Matt Gill, who are also on the way back from injury.

“It's just a nice little relaxing one to get back into it,” he joked.

“I'm really pleased to get back into it - I've had no reaction whatsoever from the ankle during training and we had some quite intense sessions, so I feel quite confident with the ankle and my fitness so hopefully I can go in tomorrow and do a job.”

City also include young midfielders Tom Adeyemi and striker Cody McDonald for the Totesport.com Combination East Division game.

t Norwich City: Rudd, Brindley, Habergham, Stephens, Nelson, Tudur Jones, Adeyemi, Gill, McDonald, Dawkin, Kelly. Subs: Gordon, Steer, Lathrope, Clarke, Osemwegie.

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