City new boy Anthony McNamee has revealed that the chance to play in front of 25,000 every other week was just too good to turn down.
The 25-year-old pacy winger, signed initially on loan but with a view to a permanent deal, has had an up and down season with Swindon – spending some time on the bench.
But Paul Lambert clearly likes what he sees having targeted the player upon his arrival in Norfolk. And now he’s here, McNamee is ready to crack on.
“I like the place, it’s very nice. It is better than what I am used to and I can’t wait to get into it. Norwich is a big club; you can’t really refuse playing in front of 25,000.
“I just like playing in front of good atmospheres, it gets me going. Playing for Norwich is going to be a big thing for me,” he told reporters.
With one or two familiar faces ready to help him settle in, the former Watford trainee admitted promotion from League One must be the immediate goal. And he’ll be hoping to get off to a winning start at Southend tonight.
“I think I might be on the bench [at Roots Hall tonight], I’m not too sure yet. But hopefully I can get involved.
“I know Semi (Jon Otsemobor) and obviously Owain Tudur Jones because he was on loan at Swindon last season. Hopefully I’ll just hit the ground running and get into my stride from the off.
“We should most definitely be aiming for promotion. We’ve got a big squad with quality players all through the squad so it is strong enough.”
His speed and guile will certainly offer Lambert something different if he decides to abandon the diamond formation at any time. And McNamee confirmed his best position was out wide – where he hopes to do the same sort of damage as a certain D Huckerby.
“I’d definitely say my best position is on the wing rather than behind the strikers. And I know Darren Huckerby was a bit of a legend at Norwich so hopefully I can do the same.”
Meanwhile, Southend boss Steve Tilson has warned his players to expect their toughest test so far when the Canaries come to town tonight. The Shrimpers sit handily placed in 11th but they will be well aware of City’s recent form.
And with only one league defeat in their last 11, the Norfolk club will make the short trip to Essex in good heart, despite being knocked out of the FA Cup at the weekend.
“Our scout’s report didn’t make for nice reading because it said Norwich were the best team he had seen all season,” Tilson told the Southend Echo.
“It’s something I was probably expecting because they have been in really good form of late in the league and we know that we are going to be in for a very hard game.”
In team news, Tilson is expected to hand three players their home debuts, with on loan defenders Sean Morrison and Scott Malone set to start for the first time at Roots Hall.
In attack, Jabo Ibehre – on loan from MK Dons – could be given the task of breaking down a stubborn City defence and the Shrimpers chief admitted he sees Ibehre as a striker rather than a winger.
“I’ve only ever seen him play as a forward and that’s what he is. That’s where he will play for us and he’s someone who is a nuisance for teams to play against so hopefully he can do well for us while he’s here.”
The home side will, however, be without winger Francis Laurent who injured his hamstring against Tranmere last Tuesday. He is expected to be replaced on the right-hand side by Damian Scannell.
And Laurent will be joined on the sidelines by suspended midfielder Anthony Grant plus the injured Johnny Herd (hamstring) and Jean Yves M’Voto (hip).