Date: 24th August 2007 at 6:33pm
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We ask the Vital Norwich editor Michael his views before tomorrow’s game

We asked Michael from Vital Norwich what his expectations were before the season, what he had made of their impressive start and what he though of losing Robert Earnshaw.

What has happened to Norwich this pre-season?

Peter Grant did the three years of transfer dealings we were owed in two months! It was clear to all at Carrow Road that some major rebuilding work was needed and considering this is our first season without parachute payments, PG`s done well to do so much. A lot of fans were amazed we got £1.5m for Etuhu, as last January they`d have flogged him for free. Earnie was always destined to pack his bags and Safri never got on with PG, so although we`ve lost some individual quality, we seem to have a better functioning team. Preseason performances were decent and we finally look like signing a defender in Ian Murray, hopefully in time for Saturday. Huckerby missed all of preseason and has only played 55 minutes for the reserves since the summer.

What were your expectations before the season?

With so many changes, probably mid-table. I`ve been in this situation with City before, and the season had mid-table obscurity written all over it. But that never stops you thinking the team may surprise you! There`s a long way to go yet.

How has the new manager started life at Carrow Road?

The fans at CR either love him or loathe him – there`s nothing in the middle. His results have been mixed, but he was sorely limited in the squad he had available. Personally, I think he`s great entertainment. He says what he sees, and usually before engaging his brain. He shouts off in the press a lot, and some fans think he should show more respect to his players – although these are usually the ones who complained Nigel Worthington defended them too much. He likes to keep people guessing, and will try to chop and change during a game – so don`t expect us to finish with the same team shape which we start the match with!

Were you upset with the sale of Robert Earnshaw and Dickson Etuhu to premiership clubs?

It was more the shock of Earnie having such a low get out clause. £3.5m? It should`ve been closer to £5m! The Board kept the clause a secret, even from PG, and took a lot of stick when Earnshaw left – even though most predicted he would. Because Dickson left under similar circumstances, a lot of fans became even more angry. The truth however was that we knew about his clause last season and scoffed at anyone wanting to pay that sort of money. You`d get one good game out of five from Dickson, if you were lucky. Both players wanted to leave, so you just say ‘see you later` and welcome those who come in. Hopefully they`ll prove to be good enough.

Who should we be wary of on Saturday?

Well, Jamie is back home at Norwich where he started career, and has probably surprised most of us with how well he`s started. If we get him the service, he can win you games. He missed the Preston trip, which we drew 0-0. Chris Brown up front is also proving to be handful. He`s had his nose broken three times this season already, but still doesn`t seem to be afraid to put himself about.

Who do you identify as Hull’s main threat?

Dean Windass is infamous in Norwich history for being the reason Martin O`Neill left our club to become Leicester manager, after our chairman refused to give him the money to buy Dean. He is a quality player. Dean Marney has also done well for you. He was on-loan at CR in 2005 before getting injured and was your best player in our game at Carrow Road last season. A lot of Norwich fans would love to see him in a Norwich shirt.

Can we have a score prediction please?

I think we still have a question mark over our away form, and we have a few injuries already. A draw would do me, so I`ll say 2-2. I can`t see it being tight.


 

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