Ex-City striker Kevin Drinkell believes that his former club need to strike while the iron’s hot, as the Canaries aim to build on their terrific start to life back in the Championship.
Drinkell, speaking exclusively to MyFootballWriter this week, keeps a close eye on his old side and will be in the city to launch his new book ‘Drinks All Round’ the day before the derby clash with Ipswich on November 28.
And the former Canary goal hero, who scored 57 times in 150 appearances between 1985 and 1988, is confident that Paul Lambert’s men can achieve bigger and better things in 2010/11. Momentum is the key.
“I think the club is big enough to be up there challenging and while things are good you’ve got to take advantage of that,” Drinkell told me yesterday. “There is no point just stabilising when the league looks so open.
“When I look at the Premier League and see the Boltons and the Wigans in there, Norwich should be amongst them. They’ve got to take advantage of the momentum and the mentality they have throughout the rest of the season.
“If they keep injury and suspension-free they should do well and the club have shown already that they can compete in the division.
“The previous four of five years have been a bit depressing and to see them slip down to League One was a blow. But Paul has gone in and stabilised things and they went on that run last year which won them the title.
“Success breeds success and when you’ve got that mentality in the dressing room, you believe you can turn anything around. Even if it’s 1-0 or 2-0 to the other team, you still think you’ve got a chance to get back into it.
“Hopefully that can continue and the club can get back to where they want to be.”
After joining Glasgow Rangers from Norwich for £600,000 in 1988, Drinkell has based himself north of the border and admits there is a lot of respect for former Celtic captain Lambert in his homeland.
Every time the Bhoys job comes up, the Scot will inevitably be linked with it if he carries on in the same manner, after steering City to a famous title triumph last season.
And Drinkell believes that his time spent in the lower leagues with Wycombe, Colchester and the Canaries last year could pay dividends in the long run.
“Paul earned a lot of respect up here with his European Cup win for Borussia Dortmund and his first foray into management was up in Scotland with Livingston, which was an ill-fated position really.
“The club have gone bankrupt and what have you and Paul was in amongst that so there is no shame in what happened there, when he didn’t have the best of times.
“Livingston was a steep learning curve for him but he went down to England and learned his trade at a lower level. He’s now enjoying the fruits of his labour.”
It would be wrong not to give Drinkell’s new book a plug while we’re here and to be fair, it sounds like an excellent read. Extremely popular in Scotland and a Hall of Fame member in Norfolk, this working class lad from Grimsby has a story to tell.
“With me turning 50 in the summer I felt that it was the right time to jot some things down before I totally forget all about it! It’s the story of a working class boy off the docks in Grimsby who did alright; not fantastic, but alright.
“I talk about all the people I met and the enjoyment I got from it, going from playing at Grimsby with my mates then on to Norwich City and Rangers.
“I joined Norwich in 1985 to get into what is now the Premier League but after I agreed to sign they suffered some bad results and the club ended up getting relegated.
“I’d agreed with Ken Brown to join a club in the top league and Europe – because they’d won the League Cup – but by the time it came around they had been relegated and that of course meant no Europe.
“However, it turned out to be an advantage for me. I’d been in the second tier with Grimsby for four or five years and it enabled me to settle in at Norwich quicker than I might have done.
“I was playing for a Premier League team in the Championship with the likes of Dave Watson, John Deehan and Chris Woods, and it was a joy to play in that team in my first season when we ended up winning the league.
“That season helped me integrate and at the start there were a few new signings at Norwich. After the disappointment of not getting my immediate chance in the top league I really enjoyed it and I was honoured to be included in the Norwich City Hall of Fame.”
You can buy Drinkell’s new book ‘Drinks All Round’ at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Drinks-Round-Autobiography-Kevin-Drinkell/dp/1845023277 and all the usual outlets including Waterstones and WH Smith.
And as mentioned earlier, the former Canary striker will be signing copies in the Canary Store on the weekend of that East Anglian derby showdown. Check the club’s official website nearer the time for details.