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Elliott: I can help City over the finishing line

PUBLISHED: 08:00 06 March 2010 | UPDATED: 08:37 02 July 2010

David Cuffley

New signing Stephen Elliott believes his experience of the big time will help Norwich City to be first over the finishing line in the League One promotion race.

New signing Stephen Elliott believes his experience of the big time will help Norwich City to be first over the finishing line in the League One promotion race.

The 26-year-old Republic of Ireland international completed his loan move from Preston yesterday and was expected to figure in manager Paul Lambert's squad for today's home game against Yeovil Town.

After checking in at Colney and passing a medical, Elliott quickly set out his target for the rest of the season with the Canaries.

He said: “Norwich are flying at the moment - everybody can see that - so I hope that if I'm called upon I can help out the lads.

“I've been part of two promotions with Sunderland to the Premiership so I'm hoping that experience can help the lads over the line.

“They have been flying and they have got themselves into a great position, so coming into a team that's buzzing, for me, that's good because everybody will be on a high.

“There's a bit of a lead at the moment but everybody knows they've got to keep themselves on their toes and keep the results coming.”

Elliott, with eight goals in 52 appearances for Preston, has been out of favour at Deepdale since Darren Ferguson's arrival as manager in January.

He said: “I wasn't playing too much football at Preston this season and Norwich were interested in taking me on loan to the end of the season.

“I made my decision straightaway, seeing where they were, so I'm looking forward to getting going.

“The team are doing really well, so I thought I might as well come in and try to give them a helping hand.

“It's always frustrating when you're not playing but you've just got to keep ticking over, working hard, because you never know when your next game is going to come and I knew there could be the possibility of moving somewhere, so I've got to keep myself right for that.

“I've been training and I've played a few reserve games. I've been keeping myself ticking over really well, so I hope that won't be an issue.”

Elliott is making no career plans beyond May, but believes he will feel at home at Carrow Road.

He said: “For now, I'm looking to the end of the season, trying to do well and see where that takes me.

“I know Gary Doherty and I used to live across the road from Wes Hoolahan in Dublin many years ago, so I know them quite well.

“I've played here before a few times before so I know the place.”

Lambert believes Elliott's experience at a higher level will be invaluable over the final two months of the season.

He said: “Elliott's an international, he's played nine times for Ireland, he's only 26. He's played in the league above us. He was at Manchester City, Wolves and Sunderland. He knows the game and I just feel it's vital we bring in somebody to boost the other lads, to keep them on their toes.

“He knows what it's about, he knows Wes and Doc from the Irish squad and he's different from what we've got.

“He'll chase lost causes and he'll do great for us, I think.”

The City boss said it was an ideal time to strengthen his squad with 12 matches left.

He said: “The time to strike is when you're doing well, not when you're struggling. That's my thinking.

“If anything happens to somebody else you have to have other people to come in and give the rest a hand. That's always been my view.

“Cody McDonald's still injured, Luke Daley has been injured. It's incredible what Oli Johnson has done at the minute, but we don't really have that much cover.”

Lambert scoffed at the idea that Elliott's deal might become permanent, however.

“Give me 15 grand a week and I'll do it,” he said. “A lot of it is to do with finance. We can't afford what we used to do in the Championship. We can't do a lot of things we did last year because you go down a league.

“Preston are helping us, which is great, and we try to get the best out of people who come here.”

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