Brown: Signing for City was right move

DAVID CUFFLEY Striker Chris Brown knows the onus is on him to deliver goals for Norwich City in the long-term absence of top scorer Robert Earnshaw - and can't wait to get down to work.


Striker Chris Brown knows the onus is on him to deliver goals for Norwich City in the long-term absence of top scorer Robert Earnshaw - and can't wait to get down to work.

Brown is hoping it will be third time lucky as he aims to get his first full 90 minutes under his belt and open his account for the Canaries in tomorrow's Coca-Cola Championship match against bottom club Leeds United at Carrow Road (3pm).

His first appearance was a 25-minute outing as a substitute in the 3-1 home defeat by Plymouth three weeks ago, just 48 hours after competing a £325,000 move from Sunderland. His full debut, against Blackpool in the FA Cup fourth round last week, was cut short by eight minutes when he was dismissed for a second yellow card.

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Now the 22-year-old transfer window capture will be hoping to go the distance against Leeds, and admits there is added responsibility on him and his colleagues to find the net with Earnshaw sidelined after a groin operation, and City floundering in 17th place in the table after one win in nine league games.

“I suppose there is a responsibility but there was always going to be, whether Earnie was fit or not. There was always going to be that responsibility but it's something I've got to acclimatise to and help the lads get up the table,” said Brown, forced to watch Tuesday's 1-0 defeat by Wolves from the stand while serving a one-match ban.

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“It's always frustrating and this was probably worse because I've only just come to the club. It was frustrating watching from the sidelines, but it was one of those things.

“I thought the lads did really well. Wolves are no pushovers and we played them off the park, but the chances weren't going in the back of the net.

“The Leeds game is one where we must get a win, especially after the disappointment the other night. And we can definitely do that.”

Brown said he was reasonably happy with his first start for City, at Bloomfield Road.

He said: “I thought it went OK. In the first half I thought I did reasonably well. In the second half, it was a little bit more of a struggle. Blackpool got back into the game a little bit. Overall, it was just disappointing not to see the game out.

“There were quite a lot of bobbles on the pitch and it was a little bit unpredictable. It was good that we got out of there without being beaten, especially when I got sent off. The lads were different class to stay in there, and the way they were defending was superb.

“I'm really enjoying it here. The lads have made me feel welcome and I'm enjoying my training, which is half the battle.

“I wouldn't have come here if I didn't think it would be a good move for me and I've seen no reason to believe it won't be.”

Manager Peter Grant has the luxury of being able to recall Brown in attack if he wishes, but at the back he has selection problems.

Jason Shackell is ruled out by calf and ankle injuries, skipper Adam Drury is suspended and veteran Dion Dublin will be given until the last possible minute to recover from an ankle injury. The departures of Craig Fleming and Carl Robinson on the last day of the January transfer window have further reduced his options.

Midfielder Andy Hughes and new signing Simon Lappin are among the candidates for a defensive role, while Grant's other deadline day signing, Mark Fotheringham, will be hoping to be involved in midfield.

Leeds boss Dennis Wise has a list of absentees even longer than that of Grant. The latest casualty is ex-Canary loan striker David Healy after scans confirmed he has broken his arm. The Northern Ireland international, who scored the winner from the penalty spot against Norwich on the opening day of the season, sustained the injury in the closing stages of the 2-1 win at Hull on Tuesday.

Fellow striker Tore Andre Flo is already ruled out for two months with a fractured foot, and now American Eddie Lewis has been ruled out by a leg injury. He will have a scan to determine the full extent of the problem.

Leeds were already without skipper Kevin Nicholls, the nature of whose injury has not been disclosed, vice-captain Shaun Derry (Achilles), Robbie Elliott (torn hamstring), Richard Cresswell (knee), Ian Moore (dead leg) and goalkeeper Graham Stack (ankle) - and full-back Gary Kelly has been ruled out with an ankle problem after shaking off a long-term back injury.

Ex-Ipswich midfielder Ian Westlake has also been sidelined lately.

Brighter news for Leeds is that defender Hayden Foxe is available after a one-match ban, while Wise has recruited a new goalkeeper, signing Danish star Casper Ankergren from Bruce Rioch's Brondby.

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