Norwood Won't Celebrate If He Scores Against Tranmere
Thursday, 26th Sep 2019 09:11
Town striker James Norwood will be delighted to net for the sixth time this season against former club Tranmere at Portman Road on Saturday – but he has confirmed he will not be celebrating if it happens.
Norwood, 28, has scored five times in his 10 appearances for Town since arriving in the summer on a free transfer after his contract expired at Prenton Park, where he spent four happy years and hit the back of the net 93 times in 180 games in all competitions.
He explained: “The rapport I had with the Tranmere fans was brilliant. I had a great time there and I’ve got a lot of respect and a lot of love for the club so I won’t be celebrating if I score.
“I remember going back to Forest Green with Tranmere for the first time and the celebrations were muted but it didn’t end well for them when they started booing me and I knocked them out of the play-offs. I react to things like that. I didn’t think I deserved it.”
Norwood’s social media activity has attracted a new army of followers since he joined Town, especially for the wrestling-themed video celebrations that accompany his goals. Has he asked for the next one to be put on hold if he scores on Saturday?
“I haven’t even thought about it to be honest,” he claimed. “It would just be nice to get a goal because I haven’t scored in three games now. It’s my job to score and if I’m presented with a chance I’ll try to take it."
Norwood’s goals helped the Wirral-based club to not only climb out of the National League but also, last season, win promotion to League One, both achievements realised courtesy of play-off final wins at Wembley.
He admits this game is bigger than most for him and added: “Obviously, it’s the first time I will have played against Tranmere since I left them.
“I spent a big part of my career there and they are the club who gave me a shot at having a real go. I’ve got a lot of love for the club and know a lot of the lads but I’m an Ipswich Town player and I want the three points.
“I still speak to the lads there every couple of days. They’re not just former team-mates, they are friends and I consider them to be among my closest friends. They know all about me so I have to keep them onside.
“I’d like to think their fans will give me a good reception because I gave my all for the club in every game and I think fans like that. I feel like we had a good rapport and it would be nice to get a good reception but you never know.”
Asked if he recalled his first goal, he replied: “Yes, it was against Chester, our main rivals, so that put me on the road to a good thing. I scored every time I played against them bar one so that made it easy to keep the fans onside.
“I went there because I could see there was massive potential at the club. I was training day in, day out, with lads who shouldn’t have been playing at that level and deserved to be playing much higher up.
“There’s no way we should have been in that league but while we could see it we also had to play our way out and it wasn’t easy.
“Once we got into League Two players started to show what they were capable of and we pretty much eased our way to promotion to League One.
“They are doing okay and I think if they can stay in mid-table and get to grips with the league it won’t be long before they start picking up some good results – but hopefully not this Saturday!”
Norwood has confirmed he has fully recovered from the injury that forced his withdrawal in the second half of Town’s victory at MK Dons last week and that being named as a substitute in the subsequent game, last weekend’s win at Gillingham, had nothing to with the injury.
He said: “The gaffer has been rotating players all season and before Saturday I’d started all the games and only come off in one of them.
“He saw an opportunity to rest me and I still got 20 minutes because it needed freshening up. It had nothing to do with the injury I picked up against MK Dons, I’m good to go.
“When I come off the bench I feel like I can affect games but I don’t feel like my lungs will.
“It is difficult coming off the bench just purely because you have to get straight up to game speed. We were 1-0 up at Gillingham and chasing things down so you don’t get time to catch your breath. But if it means I can get on the pitch I’m happy to do it any time.”
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