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Ferguson tips Canaries for safety
Published : 25 Feb 2012 08:46:58
Manchester United head to Norwich for the first time in seven years on Sunday with Sir Alex Ferguson certain he will be planning another trip next term.
Paul Lambert's men have confounded pre-season odds that had them tipped to make a quick return to the npower Championship. Now, with 35 points to their name and 14 matches still remaining, Ferguson is confident Norwich are already safe.
"It is difficult to say who is going to go down. When you look at the bottom of the league, there are five teams from 19 to 21 points. There is not a great deal of leeway there. But 21 to 35 is a big gap and I think Norwich are okay," said Ferguson.
"They look as if they are enjoying themselves and it is always a good atmosphere at Carrow Road. They get a full house every game."
Although everyone knows Oxford were the opponents for Ferguson's first game as United manager, in 1986, Norwich was the place where he secured his first point, thanks to a goalless draw seven days later.
However, whilst United were beginning an admittedly long climb back to the summit of English football, Norwich's fortunes eventually declined, only for one of Ferguson's fellow Scots to turn the entire situation around.
"I knew Paul Lambert as a kid at St Mirren," said the United chief.
"He played under my brother Martin when he was a coach there. He had a great career, winning a European Cup winners medal with Dortmund, then going to Celtic."
Lambert cut his managerial teeth at Livingston, before moving on to Wycombe, then Colchester and now Norfolk's finest.
"Norwich is a good club to go to for a young manager. The expectation is not too high. But there is a lot of enthusiasm and he is doing well," said Ferguson.