Lorimer backs City for top two
Norwich City are strong candidates for automatic promotion this season, according to legendary Leeds winger Peter Lorimer. The former Scotland international reckons the Canaries' recent form has been “ominous” - and rates Monday night's match at Elland Road as his old club's most difficult of the season so far.
Norwich City are strong candidates for automatic promotion this season, according to legendary Leeds winger Peter Lorimer.
The former Scotland international reckons the Canaries' recent form has been “ominous” - and rates Monday night's match at Elland Road as his old club's most difficult of the season so far.
Writing in his Yorkshire Evening Post column, Lorimer warned that City's visit pitted Leeds against “serious contenders” in League One.
He said: “By general consensus, the international break arrived at the perfect time for Leeds United.
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“Having said that, a home fixture against Norwich City is a major game for the club to be walking back into. I hope the cobwebs have been blown away.
“There was no doubt that several of United's players needed a rest, to cure injuries and deal with a bit of fatigue, and a quiet fortnight should hopefully leave the majority fit and well refreshed. Monday is no time for tired legs or weary minds.
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“October always looked like a difficult month and the meeting with Norwich epitomises that. The fixture list could have thrown Leeds a straightforward match this weekend, instead they play a club who I think have every chance of promotion this season, not only via the play-offs.
“Leeds are eight points better off than the Canaries - a healthy head start if ever I saw one - but it would be wrong to assume Norwich are out of the running for automatic promotion or incapable of challenging for the title. After a very shaky start, their recent form has been ominous.”
Lorimer said he shared the widespread shock at the way City began the season.
“Whenever their name is mentioned, the first thing I think about is the 7-1 defeat they suffered at home to Colchester on the first day of the season,” he said.
“No result in League One will cause more surprise and it seems as remarkable now as it did then.
“Their board were pilloried for sacking Bryan Gunn after one league match but I said at the time that bringing in Paul Lambert so quickly and so ruthlessly might prove to be a shrewd move.
“Bryan had no prior managerial experience and I didn't ever get the feeling that the club were 100 per cent confident in his appointment.
“Lambert's influence has taken a while to take hold of the boys from Carrow Road, but their results are beginning to speak for themselves - four successive victories, including a 4-0 rout of Leyton Orient and a 5-1 defeat of a very good Bristol Rovers side.
“Last weekend, they collected three valuable points in Carlisle. Be in no doubt that Norwich are in form and will come to Elland Road with their tails up, sensing an opportunity.
“I know that Leeds have played Charlton Athletic already but Monday's match would appear to be United's most difficult game of the season so far.
“Unlike the Charlton team, Lambert's line-up is packed with experienced and recognisable pros.
“They'll be competitive and they'll be strong. As much as any other team in the league, they'll travel to Elland Road feeling confident of becoming the first club in 10 months to win a league match there.
“The fact that they're such serious contenders - in my eyes, at least - means a positive result is essential.
“From the point of view of confidence and momentum, I'd love to see us stuff Norwich.”
Lorimer added: “The club made a big statement by going 11 league games without defeat. They would make an even bigger one by beating a resurgent Norwich team who are starting to fancy themselves.
“As ever in these situations, the added bonus of a victory would be the damage it does to them.”