Watford goalkeeper and self-confessed Ipswich fan Scott Loach believes the opening day trip to Carrow Road will prove to be a real test for Malky Mackay’s Hornets.
The League One champions welcome the ‘Golden Boys’ to Norfolk on August 7 and with Watford only just avoiding relegation last season, Paul Lambert and Co will be hoping to get their Championship campaign off to a flyer.
And England Under-21 ‘keeper Loach is expecting a tough encounter against a Norwich side desperate to prove they can be a threat on their return to the second tier of English football.
“I think it’s a good test of your character to be away from home on the opening day of the season” he told the official Watford website.
“We’ve got to make sure we are ready for it, especially as Norwich will be looking to impress as they got promoted as champions of League One last season.”
But before thoughts start to turn to domestic football, with the Canaries due to start pre-season training in a couple of weeks, the country’s football fanatics will be looking forward to England v Algeria in Cape Town this evening.
And the question on everybody’s lips is whether former City stopper Robert Green will be backed or sacked by Three Lions boss Fabio Capello after his World Cup gaffe last Saturday.
But despite reports emerging from South Africa that David James is to be given the nod, Town supporter Loach believes that Capello should stick with the ex-City favourite.
“We’ve all been there. It’s something that happens when you are a goalie. Unfortunately I did a similar thing in the finals of the U21 Euro championships last year against Germany.
“His was on a bigger scale but mistakes happen anywhere in this game. I personally believe he is a great goalkeeper and should stay in the number one shirt.
“He’s the one who’s been the best out of the three for England this year and I think he deserves to continue to play.”
The Jabulani ball, along with those Vuvuzelas, has been the talk of the World Cup so far, with many believing Green’s howler was a result of the ball’s extra movement.
And Loach, who has been linked with a summer move to the Premier League, has used the ball before, insisting that it can cause problems for the men between the sticks.
“I’ve played with that particular ball before, in the Under-21 tournament last year and the qualifiers, and it’s true that they do move around in a different way.
“It’s obviously always been difficult to play with – it’s more of a plastic coating similar to the ball they use in the Champions League – but this one only has three panels so it moves a lot more.
“But you get a good month in the build up to get used to it so you know what they are like. I don’t think you can blame the ball, it doesn’t make it any easier but it’s something you just have to deal with.”