Edworthy can ram home point
CHRIS LAKEY It was a line in a match report that even the man in question found amusing - “but the home side was almost caught by surprise themselves when Marc Edworthy's strike from 35 yards struck the top of the bar”.
It was a line in a match report that even the man in question found amusing - “but the home side was almost caught by surprise themselves when Marc Edworthy's strike from 35 yards struck the top of the bar”.
“Yeh, it was a bit of a rare one,” he recalled of Tuesday's effort for Derby in their 2-2 draw with Leeds.
Edworthy's last goal came on January 1, 2001 - for Coventry in a 1-1 draw against a Manchester City team featuring none other than his great pal, City star Darren Huckerby. Not surprisingly, Edworthy remembers it well.
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“It was a long time ago, but I was playing left-back, I just cut inside a little and hit it. Nicky Weaver was in goal for City and it went under him,” said Edworthy.
It's been a long time between goals for Edworthy, unlike Huckerby who a few minutes earlier and 170 miles away on Tuesday had put City ahead against Brighton.
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A year ago Edworthy would have been celebrating that goal as a Canaries team-mate, but now he's trying to keep Derby afloat in the Championship table.
This Saturday the pair are on opposite sides for the first time in a little over five years - but don't expect Edworthy to have a friendly wager with Huckerby on being the first scorer.
“I'll be the one trying to stop him, although I may have to shift to left-back so I might not see that much of him,” he said. “But in this league and in the Premiership, on his day Hucks can turn any defence inside out.”
City's frustrated fans will accept nothing less than victory on Saturday, and Edworthy knows the Rams are in for a tough time, exacerbated not just by a recent change of management and disruption on the playing side, but also by behind-the-scenes problems.
“We have had a few injuries and we've brought in a lot of loan players and we've never really got settled,” he said. “When the back four and the midfield changes so much it becomes very difficult because we've had no continuity.
“It has been happening all season and suddenly we're 30-odd games in and we're hovering above the relegation zone. Now we have to grind out a few results and sit down in the summer, when we will possibly have a new manager in charge, and start afresh.”
While all is not rosy at Pride Park, Carrow Road hasn't exactly been blessed by the sweet smell of success either.
“They were tipped to go back up, like Palace and Southampton, but it is always very difficult when you come down because fans' expectations are so high,” he said. “They've got a good squad, but suddenly you become the team to beat.
“The fans will be expecting the manager to wave his magic wand again, but it doesn't always happen like that and when results go against you it makes it very difficult.
“But the fans put their money in and want to see results.”
They are the very same fans who gave Edworthy such a rapturous reception when he stepped out at Pride Park in early December as part of the Derby team which tore City apart on the way to a 2-0 victory, which hardly told the story of the game.
Edworthy is sure to get a reception reminiscent of the one which greeted Malky Mackay when he came back with Watford last month, and he's looking forward to catching up with some familiar faces.
“I had a great relationship with the fans, they were always fantastic to me,” he said. “I am very happy at Derby, but I think it's well documented that I was very sad to leave Norwich.”