Clingan calls for Commons sense

Michael Bailey Sammy Clingan knows exactly who Norwich City need to keep in check if they are to continue their resurgence at Pride Park this evening - Kris Commons.The Canaries face Derby County (kick-off 7.

Michael Bailey

Sammy Clingan knows exactly who Norwich City need to keep in check if they are to continue their resurgence at Pride Park this evening - Kris Commons.

The Canaries face Derby County (kick-off 7.45pm) for the second time in three-and-a-half weeks looking for only their second away win of the Championship season.

And although the Rams' tricky winger missed City's contentious 2-1 defeat to the Rams due to injury - a game Norwich failed to beat a Derby side reduced to 10 men and has since become infamous due to allegations of match fixing - Clingan is well aware of Commons' capabilities, having played alongside him in Nottingham Forest's promotion-winning side last season.

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“I spoke to him on Saturday night and he has been telling me how well he's been going since he's been back, so it'd be good to get a win over him,” said City's Northern Ireland international. “I think he's a great player for this league.

“He was Forest's best player without a shadow of a doubt. His potential on the ball was different class and any time he got on the ball, he always looked like he was going to create something or score a goal, and you've just got to be wary of him.”

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But as a former Forest player lining up against Derby at Pride Park, Clingan is not worrying about the predictably frosty reception he is likely to received as a former favourite for the Rams' bitter rivals.

“With the Forest connection and Derby, obviously the fans don't get on the best, but I've only been there once before and that was with Forest when we played them in the Brian Clough Memorial Trophy and it was a good atmosphere that day,” said Clingan. “But I don't really care what sort of reception I get, as long as I get to play and put 100pc in for Norwich.”

City return to their travels with six points in the bag after Carrow Road wins over high flying Wolves and struggling Doncaster, and although the perfect performance against Wanderers had most fans purring, it was the stirring fightback against Rovers that Clingan believes was most important.

“It was a good win for us on Saturday, especially because we didn't play the best football in the world,” he said. “But it's always good to get the three points out of those sort of games. Whereas we played well against Wolves and still got the three points, I think the result on Saturday was more important.

“We've got two difficult games coming up, one against Derby who have already beat us this season. Hopefully we'll go up there and perform as we did against Wolves and get a result, get the confidence going again which we have at the moment, push on and get a few more results.

“I think the night games are special, especially when it's under the lights. The atmosphere always seems to be a lot better and this will be one to look forward to.”

Whereas David Marshall and the City defence have probably seen enough penalties already to last a season, Clingan is one man who will be hoping the referee points to the spot - as long as it is at the right end.

While Marshall has already faced seven penalties this term, Clingan scored his first Norwich goal from the spot against Derby at Carrow Road.

“It would be nice to get a few more penalties. I think I'm the nominated penalty taker, and I scored that one against Derby - until I miss one,” said Clingan, who is hoping the defensive mistakes and dubious decisions also dry up at the other end.

“I think that's something we need to cut out. We've conceded something like seven penalties in 13 games and it just can't be called for. But hopefully we can go a couple of games without giving one away,” said Clingan.

“We need to start keeping a lot more clean sheets than what we've been doing and if we can do that away from home, we've always got the threat up front that can get us the three points.”

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