Warner relishing his chance

DAVID CUFFLEY Goalkeeper Tony Warner goes into his Norwich City home debut knowing tonight's opponents rattled in five goals on their last outing - but he won't even be thinking about it.


Goalkeeper Tony Warner goes into his Norwich City home debut knowing tonight's opponents rattled in five goals on their last outing - but he won't even be thinking about it.

The 32-year-old Liverpudlian, on loan from Fulham, will become the fifth different 'keeper to be introduced to the Carrow Road regulars this season when he lines up in the Coca-Cola Championship match against promotion-chasing Derby County (7.45pm).

The Rams enjoyed a 5-1 success at home to Colchester on Friday night and led the table until Birmingham's 1-0 win over Cardiff on Sunday restored them to top spot.

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But Warner, who made his first appearance in place of Paul Gallacher in City's 3-1 win at Barnsley on Saturday, admitted he was not even aware of the result at Pride Park the night before.

He said: “No, I didn't even know. Teams have good form, other teams have not so good form. Colchester conceded five but we're not Colchester. Derby have got to come down to Carrow Road and they're looking to do a job on us.

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“It will be a very difficult game and they're in a rich vein of form, but from what I've seen on Saturday, I'm confident we can do well.”

Warner, whose last outing at Carrow Road was as Millwall 'keeper when they lost 3-1 in 2003-04, said he enjoyed watching City's relentless attacking display in the first half at Oakwell from the opposite end of the pitch.

He said: “I was very impressed. It just seemed as if every time we went forward Barnsley were struggling and we looked like we were going to score.

“I know it's not always like that. I think it was just one of those games when everything clicked for us.

“Barnsley probably let themselves down slightly in the first half but they came out full tilt in the second half and we were expecting it. We rode our luck a little bit at times but we managed to keep a clean sheet in the second half and that was our aim.”

He knows Derby are likely to be a different proposition but is relishing the occasion.

He said: “They're second in the table, a very good side, and it's a difficult game but that's what you're in football for. You're in the game to play the better sides in the division. They'll come down here with a spring in their step but it's down to us to put a stop to that.

“I've played here a few times. It's a nice stadium, a good atmosphere. I've always had difficult games here against Norwich and hopefully what I've experienced before, other teams can experience as well.”

Warner's whirlwind arrival, from a Thursday afternoon call to a Saturday afternoon debut, has given him little time to consider the long-term picture after his loan deal, which runs until the end of the season.

He said: “I haven't really spoken to anybody about that at the moment. I just want to concentrate on each game as it comes and see what happens towards the end of the season.

“It's the way it goes on loans. Certain things happen and you get drafted in at the last moment and you don't have time to prepare.

“It's happened to me quite a few times. It's no big deal. A game is a game and you're playing with 10 others against 11 others.”

Warner, who also had a loan spell at Leeds this season - and played against City on the opening day of the season - admitted: “It's been a bit of a topsy-turvy year but you're in it to play games, not to sit about or sit in the stands or on the bench. The more games you get, the better.”

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