Kevin Bond won’t underestimate former club Norwich City
Tottenham assistant manager Kevin Bond will not be under-estimating Norwich City ahead of Tuesday’s televised Premier League game, warning: “They never know when they’re beaten.”
The Canaries’ former captain is delighted to see his old club back in the big time and wishes them every success – except, of course, at Carrow Road Tuesday night (7.30pm).
Bond and Spurs manager Harry Redknapp watched City take on another of the “big six” at Anfield earlier in the season.
“I think they have been very impressive. I saw them play at Liverpool and they showed a really positive approach to the game,” said Bond.
“There was no question of sitting back. Liverpool took the lead but I was very impressed with the way they fought back.
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“They have scored so many late goals in the last couple of years, they never know when they’re beaten.
“I expect them to stay in the Premier League this season. The manager, Paul Lambert, has done a brilliant job.
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“I hope they continue to do well. They have a good manager and a good squad of players.”
Bond, who made 161 appearances for the Canaries between 1976 and 1981, scoring 14 goals, added: “I always wish Norwich well – though I can’t tonight. I have so many good memories of the club that I couldn’t do anything else.
“It’s a lovely football stadium, they play to full houses every week. I hope it’s a good game of football. It should be a great night, the game has attracted a lot of attention and a lot of people are coming down from Tottenham.”
Spurs have won 11 of their 16 Premier League games, including five victories on the road, but were held to a 1-1 draw by London rivals Chelsea at White Hart Lane on Thursday night.
“It’s always disappointing not to win your home games but they’re a top team, Chelsea,” said Bond. “It was a tight game and a draw was probably a fair result.
“We started fast and got our noses in front, then conceded when we shouldn’t have.”
Spurs are considered title contenders by some pundits, and are at least prime candidates for a second stab at the Champions League after some stirring European ties in 2010-11, when they reached the quarter-finals.
“It’s a tough old battle to stay at the top of the league. To finish in the Champions League places is our number one priority,” said Bond.
“We are up there but to stay up there is mightily hard when you look at the experience of Manchester United, the money Manchester City have spent, and Chelsea, who are going through a bit of a transitional period but still looked a very good side.
“We’d like to stay up there but there is a long way to go.”
Spurs have more than their fair share of injuries, notably in defence, where Michael Dawson has a long-term Achilles problem and Ledley King, Younes Kaboul and Sebastien Bassong have all been under treatment. Aaron Lennon is out with a hamstring injury, but Jermain Defoe could return if he recovers from a similar problem. Rafael van der Vaart looks set to figure after initial fears he had torn his hamstring proved unfounded.
Spurs have also had two fewer days to prepare for the game than Norwich, who last played at Wolves a week ago.
“It might be a slight disadvantage at this moment in time because of players recovering from injury,” said Bond. “We’ve got quite a few injuries at this moment, but nevertheless we have a good squad.”
Bond is not the only Norwich connection in the Tottenham set-up.
England midfielder Scott Parker was on loan in 2000, while assistant first team coach Tim Sherwood made 88 appearances for City between 1989 and 1992. Less well remembered is the fact that manager and former winger Redknapp spent three months on loan at Carrow Road from Bournemouth in 1974, playing three reserve matches during old West Ham team-mate John Bond’s time as City boss.
“My father brought Harry to Norwich and I played in the reserves with him, so he knows the place himself, though not quite like I do,” said Bond.