DONCASTER Rovers leading scorer Chris Brown will line-up against one of his former clubs in tonight’s Capital One Cup clash at Carrow Road.
The Doncaster-born striker spent a year playing for Norwich after the Canaries paid Sunderland £325,000 for his services midway through the 2006-07 season and he put pen to paper on a two-and-a-half-year deal.
The 6ft 3in striker, not helped by a hamstring injury, failed to make his hoped-for impact in front of goal and it took him 20 games to open his account.
After one of the least productive spells of his career, Brown moved on to Preston North End for £400,000 after just a year at Carrow Road.
Brown has been back there twice since with Preston and scored on both occasions against his old club and will be looking to repeat the feat in tonight’s game - though he knows it won’t be easy.
“A lot has changed and they’ve improved a lot since I was there,” he told The Star.
Brown took his tally for the season to four when scoring Rovers’ 79th minute equaliser in Saturday’s 1-1 League One draw against second-placed Stevenage at the Keepmoat Stadium.
“It was a very important goal and it helped us dig a result out,” said Brown, whose first season at the club was dogged by injury. “They had two men sat in front of me and I’d waited a long time for the chance and once that went in I thought I could have had another one. But they defended well and it was probably a fair result.
“The gaffer said they would be strong and they’d worked out how we play and I thought we mixed it up in the second half and got it out wide and got the ball into the box and we made some chances.”
The result, coming on the back of the win at Colchester and the midweek draw at Bramall Lane, extended Rovers unbeaten run to three games.
“We’d had two good results away from home and had we lost on Saturday it would have cancelled out the win at Colchester, but as it is we’ve picked up five points from our last three games,” he said.
“There was pressure on us to get a result on Saturday but the pressure will all be on Norwich tonight. They’re the favourites, but it’s a cup game and we’ve got a chance of getting through to the next round and I’m looking forward to it. They are a Premier League team and these are the sort of games you want to be playing in.”
Whereas Stevenage sat back for long periods on Saturday, Brown expects the exact opposite will be the case tonight.
“They are at home and are a Premier League side and they are going to come at us which might help us a little bit. It’s going to be tough but I certainly think we can go there and get a result.”
Although neither player is is expected to feature, tonight’s game could see Rovers attacking midfielder Kyle Bennett line up against his older brother Elliott. The 23-year-old was signed by Norwich, who had won promotion back to the Premier League, last summer for an undisclosed fee after helping Brighton win promotion to the Championship. He was included in the PFA League One Team of the Year.
He injured his knee in the 5-0 defeat against Fulham on the opening day of the season and only returned to full training on Monday.
Canaries boss Chris Hughton, yet to see his side win in the league, is hopeful of having him back for Saturday’s home game against Liverpool and could decide to give him a run-out against Rovers.