FOOTBALL NEWS

25/02/2012 08:14, Report by A Bostock, S Bartram
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Sir Alex admires Norwich

Sir Alex Ferguson has compared Norwich City to his most successful former club ahead of Manchester United's visit to Carrow Road.

Speaking to MUTV on Friday, the manager said the Canaries' geography and monopoly of the local people's affections is comparable to the situation he enjoyed at Aberdeen.

"Norwich is an interesting club because they have a full house for every match," said Sir Alex.

"It's in a lovely part of the world. They've got their own little empire down there. It's just like when I was at Aberdeen, it feels as though you're cut off from everywhere. Nonetheless they're being very successful with it.

"I think they have probably exceeded everyone’s expectations. In fact, all the teams who were promoted have excelled, particularly Norwich. They’ve not signed a lot of players, they’ve stuck to their normal way of doing things, and although it's difficult to say nowadays, I think they'll be okay [in terms of staying up]."

Unsurprisingly for someone so well connected in both English and Scottish football, Sir Alex has known Norwich boss Paul Lambert for a long while.

"I knew Paul when he was a kid at St Mirren," Sir Alex told a press conference this week.

"He played under my brother, Martin, when Martin was a coach. Paul’s had a great career - he collected a European Cup winner’s medal with Borussia Dortmund and then he went on to Celtic."

Managerial spells with Livingston, Wycombe and Colchester eventually led Lambert to Carrow Road in August 2009, when the Canaries were still in League One.

"I think Norwich, for a young manager, is probably a good club to go to, where the expectation’s not too high and you’ve got a full house every week," added Sir Alex.

"There’s a lot of enthusiasm down there and I think it’s suited Paul well."

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