Norwich defender Garrido excited by Manchester City return

Javi Garrido was a cult figure at City. Photo: PA

Defender Javier Garrido is grateful Norwich did not leave their Premier League rescue act down to the last day of the season.

Last weekend's 4-0 home win against West Brom secured Norwich's top-flight status and meant Garrido can go back to his former club, Manchester City, on Sunday and enjoy trying to put one over on his big football pal and compatriot David Silva.

The pair came up together through the Spanish national ranks and while defender Garrido played from Under 15 to Under 21 level with Silva, he has not kicked on to break into Spain's senior side in the manner of the City midfielder.

They have been texting each other over the past few weeks and Garrido said: "I have got a very good relationship with him. I texted him three or four weeks ago and he told me that for us it would be better to have the job done (avoid relegation) before we play at City.

"I have good memories of my time at City but the owner was putting in lots of money for new players and that put the level so high and when you are involved you are happier than when you are not. But in general I was happy. It was my first time away from Spain."

In fact, Garrido, 28, admits he was sad to leave City where he played between 2007 and 2010, making 49 league appearances in which he scored two goals alongside players such as Carlos Tevez, Gareth Barry and Vincent Kompany, before the influx of star players saw him sold to Lazio.

Injuries limited his appearances and progress at the Italian club, which is how he came to join Norwich on a season-long loan in the summer.

He has proved a solid asset in the Norwich defence, playing 29 league games so far. His reward came when he signed a permanent two-year deal at Carrow Road earlier this week with the option of a third season.

Garrido could not be more delighted and one of the first people to congratulate him was City full-back Paolo Zabaleta, another former team-mate who stays in regular contact.

"Ever since my first day here my main thing was to join permanently," he admitted.

"They have shown confidence in me. I have played so many games and have been comfortable with everyone.

"After the last game against West Brom I was so happy because I knew I would be here permanently. It was a good moment for me. It is always tough to go to Manchester and get a good result. But we don't have any pressure.

"I admit I was a little bit worried (about relegation). In the Premier League it is difficult to get points. Everyone was a little bit worried, but in the end the team showed their character and the result on Saturday was amazing.

"You had to see the dressing room to see how happy everyone was. The job was done. But now we need to finish well and next season everyone has to improve.

"I am the kind of player who always wants to improve. Next season will be exciting."

Central defender Michael Turner remains out for Norwich with a groin problem, while goalkeeper John Ruddy is set to start after returning last weekend from his lengthy lay-off with a thigh injury.