Keeper has no regrets over wasted years
Darren Ward returns to Norwich with Sunderland tomorrow insisting he has no regrets over a Carrow Road move that turned out to be two lost years in his career.
DARREN Ward returns to Norwich with Sunderland tomorrow insisting he has no regrets over a Carrow Road move that turned out to be two lost years in his career.
Injury and the form of England goalkeeper Robert Green restricted the experienced stopper to only one start and two substitute appearances in his two seasons in Norfolk before joining the Black Cats.
And now he is looking forward to finally showing the Norwich fans exactly what he is capable of as Sunderland aim for a positive response to their midweek home defeat to Cardiff City.
Ward said: “I will always be grateful to Nigel Worthington for the opportunity he gave me at Norwich.
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“When I signed for them it was on the understanding that Robert Green would probably be leaving Carrow Road in the January, or last summer at the latest.
“But it didn't happen and with him in the picture with England, it was always going to be an uphill task for me.
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“It was a disappointing two years in my career, but I have no regrets about the move. As a family, we were very happy down there.
“It's a beautiful place and a good club and we made friends inside and outside the club that we are still in touch with now.
“I'm looking forward to revisiting, but it will only be a good trip for me if we get something out of the game.”
Norwich sacked Worthington early last month before appointing Peter Grant as his successor.
Ward said: “Nothing surprises you in football, but Nigel had done a great job for Norwich in his time there.
“He got them into the Premiership without a great deal of funds to work with. In the end they spent too late in taking Dean Ashton to the club.
“They didn't start too badly this season before hitting a difficult spell. I was disappointed for him when he went.”
While there are emotional ties with Norwich, Ward is focused on helping Sunderland to climb the Championship.
“Things are not quite clicking on a consistent basis for us and I hope the supporters understand that football is our life, our livelihoods and we are working very hard to get it right for them and us,” said the 32-year-old.
“We're going there on the back of a couple of good away result at Hull and we know the standard of performance that is required.
“We accept the criticisms that have come our way after a few recent results and we're doing everything possible to take the club forward.
“I think there are positives to take from recent games and it is a case of working on the things that aren't going right for us.”