Norwich old boy Edworthy predicts entertainment

Former Norwich City and Derby defender Marc Edworthy is predicting a pre-Christmas cracker when his two old sides meet in the Championship this weekend at Pride Park.

The 37-year-old won promotion to the Premier League with both clubs and Edworthy is convinced the duo can challenge again if they emerge unscathed through the traditional hectic festive spell. Edworthy expects plenty of entertainment when the division’s highest home scorers host a Norwich side fresh from hammering four past their East Anglian rivals Ipswich.

“This is a very key period coming up - make or break in a lot of ways – when you play four or five games over a ten day period and it’s amazing how different the table can look,” he said. “Both clubs are having very similar seasons in a lot of respects. I think it will be a cracking game. Derby fans have been treated to some good football this season. Its funny because about eight weeks ago I was doing a fans’ phone-in and it was all about getting rid of (Nigel) Clough, he isn’t good enough, the board aren’t putting any money in. It was doom and gloom and now things are looking very rosy and they have started winning away from home.

“He managed to keep the lad (Kris) Commons, who is a big player for them and what they try to do, and the players that have come in - the likes of (John) Brayford and (James) Bailey have also adapted well, so they have a good mix.”

Edworthy feels continuity could hold the key to City’s own promotion prospects after featuring in a settled backline which formed the backbone of Norwich’s 2004 title triumph.

“Everybody wants to get to the Premier League, that is the big league with the big finances and its why chairmen, directors, fans, everyone, all want to be a part of it,” he said. “Norwich are obviously confident, they’ve come up from last season and picked up where they left off. Winning games breeds that and they obviously have a very impressive manager - but its also about having a work ethic and team spirit.

“I honestly believe if you have that it gives you nine to 12 points a season. I remember the year we went up we had all those things and a consistency in team selection. Our defence was Greeno, Malky, Flem and Adam and we must have played something like 40 games together to build that understanding.”

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Edworthy is now enjoying the action from the sidelines after calling time on a 19-year professional career.

“We live up in Derbyshire and the children are settled here in schools so it suits us,” he said. “I do a bit of coaching, nothing with the professional game, but I enjoy it. I’d never say never, but a lot of the time it is about who you know to get back in and get that opportunity in the game. I had a business before I started playing renovating houses which I’m still involved in and we’re moving house as well so there isn’t enough hours in the day.

“I play for the ex-Rams as well but last year was the first in 19 as a professional I didn’t have to train on Christmas Day or go easy on the turkey and stuffing. I still look out for all my old clubs and of course I know Hucks well and we still keep in touch. I was down for his charity event and I know he does the corporate side of things at the ground on a matchday so I might get along to a few games.”