JOHN GREGORY hopes his Crawley players can leave Carrow Road tonight with cherished memories - just like he did over three decades ago.
Gregory takes renowned cup specialists Crawley to Norwich bidding to complete an East Anglian double by knocking Neil Adams' side out of the Capital One Cup having already disposed of Mick McCarthy's Ipswich in the first round.
Reds boss Gregory revealed he has enjoyed trips to the Canaries both as a player and manager over the years.
And the club holds one special memory for the former Aston Villa midfielder.
Gregory said: “I scored my very first goal for Aston Villa at Carrow Road.
“I won't be scoring on Tuesday night but hopefully Izale McLeod or one of the others will be.”
That milestone goal came as a substitute in a 2-1 loss in the 1977-78 First Division campaign.
Gregory hopes for a better outcome tonight but the odds are stacked against his side.
Norwich sunk Ipswich 1-0 on Saturday in the Old Farm Derby at Portman Road while Crawley were losing by the scoreline at Sheffield United.
The Reds beat Ipswich by the same scoreline in their second game of the season when McLeod's extra time winner dumped the Tractor Boys out.
Gregory hopes his League One side can raise themselves again to claim another Championship scalp.
He said: “Crawley are well known for being one of the giant killers of cup football.
“We consider the scalp we took against Ipswich, even though it was a lot of relatively inexperienced players against us that night, still a scalp for a club such as Crawley and we shall be trying to do the same against Norwich.”
Although the league campaign remains the priority for both clubs, with Norwich keen to bounce back to the Premier League after last season's relegation, and Reds striving for a top-eight finish, Gregory expects it to be a keenly contested tie at a club he greatly admires.
He said: “It's a great club and one that I have always been very envious of.
“It is an exceptionally well run football club.
“They are in the Championship at the moment but they don't deserve to be in it.
“From the minute you pitch up in the car park their stewards and officials are always immaculately dressed in their club ties and uniforms.
“It is always such a lovely place to go to and I hope I come away on Tuesday night with a smile on my face and a victory.”
Norwich could make changes for the tie as they prepare to host Bournemouth in the Championship on Saturday.
Gregory added: “You never know how serious they are going to take it.
“We obviously take it very seriously and can't make too many changes with our limited squad.
“They can afford to make one or two but no matter what team they put out, I am sure it will be a tough test for us.”
- Carayol leaves door open for permanent deal
- Bloom: Get off Forster-Caskey's back
- Albion's Maksimenko scores for Latvia
- Non-league round-up: East Grinstead move out of drop zone, Three Bridges win, semi-final abandoned, Crawley Down produce stunning finish
- He's on the goal trail - but Rodriguez says tough time at Albion made him a better player