City new boy Elliott Ward has revealed that boss Paul Lambert was one of the main reasons behind joining the Canaries, after the defender penned a two-year deal at Carrow Road this afternoon.
His contract at Coventry expires this summer and newly-promoted Norwich beat off plenty of competition to land their man. The 25-year-old now completes a quartet of centre-halves, joining Zak Whitbread, Jens Berthel Askou and Michael Nelson in the yellow and green.
The London-born player started his career at West Ham United, coming through the youth ranks, but moved to the Sky Blues in 2006 for £1 million and has made over 100 appearances at the Ricoh Arena.
But his future now lies in Norfolk and Ward revealed that meeting the man who guided City to the League One title made up his mind.
“As soon as I met him he was very honest and told me what wants from me and what he expects from players,” said Ward, speaking to Canaries Player this afternoon.
“We get 25,000 every week and that is now going to be increased – it’s something to look forward to. I’m looking to give it my all and I’m joining a winning team.
“I’ve always enjoyed playing here and the crowd have been good; hopefully that carries on. I’ll do all I can and hopefully we can keep on winning.
“I have kept the move quiet and only told my family today but I could have asked Sammy Clingan, David Bell, Dion Dublin or Peter Grant about Norwich – a lot of people I know have been here and enjoyed it. I wanted to make my own mind up though and we’ll see how it goes!”
The Canaries and Ward do have ‘previous’ of course, when the former Hammer struck a penalty on the opening day of the season in 2008 with Coventry running out 2-0 winners .
“I was linked to Norwich that summer as well but it didn’t come about and we had them on the first day of the season. I scored and I can only apologise for that but it was a good goal for me at the time.”
Lambert has certainly wasted no time in adding to his squad and Ward is the second arrival in five days, with ex-Brighton skipper Andrew Crofts signing on last Friday.
And he has high hopes for his new centre-half, with Ward’s experience at Championship level being just one of qualities that made him swoop so quickly.
“I’m expecting him to come in and be a major part of what is happening here, and we’ll try and drive it on again this season.
“He’s had a few clubs after him and we’re fortunate to get him. He’s been in the Championship for a number of years so he’s been up there. Elliott knows the game and at 25 is a good age as well. I think he’ll do great for us.
“He’s got that Championship experience and you’re hoping having players like that will pay dividends but it doesn’t always work that way. You can have players from the lower leagues who take to it with no problems at all.
“What our side will have is an enthusiasm I think as it is new to a lot of us, myself included.”
As well as being a capable defender, Ward is also known for his talent at the other end of the pitch, notching 14 goals during his time in the west midlands. But Lambert wants him to concentrate on his main job – anything else would be a bonus.
“His job, first and foremost, is to defend and that’s the reason I brought him here. If he can do something at the other end of the pitch I’ll be delighted but I’m sure he’s going to do great.”