Elliott Ward hoping wants to challenge for promotion with Nottingham Forest

Elliott Ward appears to have played his last game for Norwich City.

Elliott Ward appears to have played his last game for Norwich City. - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Elliott Ward is targeting Premier League promotion with Nottingham Forest after calling time on his Norwich City career.

The 27-year-old centre back revealed he rejected interest from other clubs to re-join Forest last week on loan until the end of the season with a view to a permanent City Ground summer switch.

Ward’s thumping late header helped sink Peterborough 2-1 in the Championship at the weekend to clinch a first win for new Reds’ boss Alex McLeish. The defender did make a brief return to his parent club and was on the bench for Norwich’s recent FA Cup win at Posh following the managerial uncertainty in the East Midlands triggered by Sean O’Driscoll’s surprise departure. Ward knows his own future now hinges on impressing McLeish and his assistant Peter Grant.

“I think if Sean had stayed I believe things might have been sorted out sooner but with a new manager things change all the time,” he said. “He’d seen a few of my games and I think that is why he wanted me back to see a few more. I know Granty from the past from working with him so I know I am coming back to something good. I think the deal is if the manager is happy then hopefully a permanent will be there. I am here to do a job, play well, do well for the team and see what happens in the future.

“There were other clubs interested but it was a matter of making that decision and what was right for me. Once it was agreed with Norwich it was straightforward. I just want to play football. I wouldn’t say things were playing on my mind when I went back for eight days. I was just part of the squad. I was involved in the FA Cup tie, but I knew something might happen here.”

Ward is confident ninth-placed Forest can emulate the Canaries and get themselves into the Championship promotion mix with a consistent late run of form. The former West Ham and Coventry defender admitted beating Posh at the City Ground was a major boost ahead of this weekend’s spicy league clash with rivals Derby.

“I think the biggest thing is to keep in touch with the teams above us,” said Ward, speaking on the club’s official site. “Most of them have picked up decent results over the weekend as well so for that reason alone it was important – forget about anything else. We just need a run of three or four games in a row or even just some good results. If you go unbeaten for a while it certainly helps. We have not been far off.

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“I should probably score a few more with the head, I get enough stick about how big it is, but it was a great header. We worked on a few things throughout the week and we felt set pieces could be quite important because we didn’t have too many clear-chances in the second half.”