City new boy Alan Lee today insisted that he was relishing the prospect of making his debut in front of a Carrow Road full house after winning many a doubting Thomas over with his away day efforts at Birmingham City.
The 30-year-old on-loan Palace striker had ruffled the odd feather with his strong connections to those down the road, but the manner of his performance in that 1-1 draw with Blues won him many a-convert.
And as the Canaries prepare to resume the survival fight at home to Sheffield Wednesday this weekend, so Lee is likely to get a fair welcome from the 25,000-odd City fans.
“I really cannot wait to get out on that pitch – touch wood, if selected,” said the City new-boy, speaking at Colney this morning with his new manager stood right behind him.
If the banter between the two is any guide, there is a healthy respect – on either side of the fence.
With the break has come extra fitness; added that extra edge to his game.
“I feel really good – we did some extra fitness work on Tuesday; we had some days off, but I came in on the Friday to keep ticking over. But I just feel sharp – and it's been refreshing for me to come back here to East Anglia,” added the Irish international striker, based on that Essex-Suffolk border.
“I'm really happy at the moment,” he added, after finding himself firmly sidelined by Eagles boss Neil Warnock.
If first impressions count for anything, then Lee remains firmly in the glass half-full camp when it comes to City spirits ahead of six, big games between now and the end of the season.
“It certainly didn't seem to me like a dressing room that was down in the dumps or lacking in confidence,” he said.
City did, of course, enjoy a one-off appearance from a true master of the warm-up art in the shape of Dion Dublin. But they still played with a passion and an intensity that belied their still lowly position.
“I was very impressed with the lads; their attitude; the fighting spirit – everything.”
It hadn't, he said, come as any great surprise. It was, you sensed, one of the reasons he accepted Gunn's invite ahead of that of Brian Laws at Wednesday – that he felt there was still a chance to play a part in something a little special at the foot of the table.
Already all-but safe in mid-table, seeing the season out at Wednesday held less of an appeal. “I've had a rubbish season and I really wanted to go somewhere and make a difference to someone's season.”
The fact that there was the odd, familiar face around the place will have helped. He would have bumped into City skipper Gary Doherty once or twice on their Republic of Ireland travels.
“I know some of the lads already – and they're all good characters,” said Lee, likely to have swapped elbows with Mr Shackell too in the past.
“And it's a time for good characters. And the lads stepped up to the plate. For it's at times like this that the personalities come out and you get to see what people are made of.
“And so far from what I've seen, the reaction has been great and there are some strong lads there.”
Given that his new employers were on such a roll with those three wins out of their previous four outings, was it a shame that they have had to put their feet up for the last two weeks as the World Cup takes centre stage?
“Maybe – maybe we would have liked to have played a game on Saturday,” he said.
“But for me personally I've had more time to bed in; do some extra fitness. And I can't say it's that much of a negative. I think we will all be looking forward to Saturday.”
Three points would take Gunn's recent tally to 13 from an available 18 – one defeat at Blackpool and one draw at Birmingham being the only blemishes.
That is not the form of a team heading for Yeovil next season.
“I don't think we're in that bad a position,” said Lee, fortunate not to have been here four short weeks ago.
“A win on Saturday will really help our chances.”
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