Football: Stuart hungry to lift Norwich relegation fight

GRAHAM STUART is out to get his Norwich career off to the perfect start when he returns to Everton tonight.

The veteran midfielder signed for the Premiership strugglers until the end of the season on the final day of the transfer window, leaving Charlton after almost six years of service. And after finding his first-team opportunities limited at The Valley this season, Stuart cannot wait to get back into action, particularly with his debut coming against another of his former clubs.

"I haven't played too many first-team games this season, but I'm still fit and I have still got a huge desire to play the game," Stuart said. "I'm ready to step in - but obviously it's down to the gaffer to make a decision on what happens. All I can say is that I will give my 100 per cent best when called on.

"I've played all the way across the midfield during my time. It's obviously up to the manager to decide on that. I'll do whatever I'm asked to do."

Stuart is likely to get his first run-out tonight, probably on the left side of midfield to free Darren Huckerby for a central striker's role alongside pounds 3m man Dean Ashton.

Stuart won the FA Cup in 1995 during his four-year stint at Everton. The season before he had found himself involved in a heart-stopping end to the league campaign when his late goal helped keep Everton up on the final day as they beat Wimbledon.

Stuart said: "I'm looking forward to going back to Goodison Park because that place holds a lot of happy memories for me."

However, the midfielder insists there will be no place for sentiment come kick-off time tonight as the Canaries continue their quest to move out of the relegation zone.

"Any side who manage to put together back-to-back wins could suddenly find themselves clear of the other three - and we've got to make sure that side is Norwich," Stuart said.

"Two wins on the trot would do wonders for our position - it would do wonders for our confidence as well. We've got to remain positive. We've got a 14-game season ahead of us and it starts now.

"There are plenty of points to play for - and from what I've seen of the lads so far they are convinced we can retain our Premiership status."

If Norwich do eventually pull off an escape act and beat the drop, then Stuart could be rewarded with a new deal in the summer.

Gary Holt is in contention for a start tonight after another run-out for the reserves, and Youssef Safri is expected to return to the bench. Simon Charlton also played for the second-string on Monday after recovering from a broken toe, but he won't be risked tonight.

The striker Ryan Jarvis is the latest player to join the Canaries' injury list with a knee injury. Mathias Svensson (knee), Thomas Helveg (calf), Ian Henderson (heel), David Bentley (knee) and reserve keeper Darren Ward (knee) are all still out.

Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

IT Support Technician (2nd Line / Server Support) - Bedford

£24000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: 2nd line IT Support Techn...


£100 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Would you like to have a b...

Year 3 Teacher

£100 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: KS2 TeacherWould you like ...

Science Teacher

£100 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Are you a qualified science t...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments