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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 April, 2004, 20:57 GMT 21:57 UK
Norwich back in Premiership
Norwich's Leon McKenzie (left) and Mathias Svensson
Norwich are back in the Premiership after a nine-year absence
Norwich City have returned to the Premiership after a nine-year absence.

The Canaries won promotion without playing on Wednesday as Sunderland, the only team who could have denied them a top two finish, lost at Crystal Palace.

Norwich manager Nigel Worthington told the BBC: "It's been a lot of hard work - but I'm proud to be manager of this football club tonight."

And he added that he was now setting his sights on pipping West Brom to the First Division title.

"The one thing we have got to do now is finish it off," he said.

"I want to get a medal for the players."

What a fantastic bunch the players are - they've held their nerve and I'm proud of them
Delia Smith

Television chef Delia Smith, the joint majority shareholder at Carrow Road, added: "When the moment came I went to pieces. The first thing I wanted to do the moment I heard was go and congratulate Nigel.

"And what a fantastic bunch the players are - they've held their nerve and I'm proud of them. Tonight also belongs to the fans - I'm delighted for them."

Defender Malky Mackay said: "It's unbelievable - we have really gone for it this season and it is well done to the board, the manager and the fans."

West Brom will join the Canaries in the Premiership if they gain one more point.

Sunderland, meanwhile, will almost certainly now have to settle for a place in the play-offs.

Norwich led Division One by five points at Christmas and then spent more than 1m on new players.

Boss Worthington sealed the permanent signing of Darren Huckerby from Manchester City and brought in Matthias Svensson from Charlton and Leon McKenzie from Peterborough.

Huckerby is the club's top scorer with 12, while Svensson and McKenzie have weighed in with seven each since their arrival.

The Canaries lost their Premiership status in 1995, two years after they famously knocked Bayern Munich out of the Uefa Cup.

Several seasons of struggle followed, before Worthington took over in 2000, saving them from relegation that year before leading them to the play-off final in 2002.

BBC Five Live's Steve Wilson
"A result cheered as much in Norfolk as it was in South London"

Crystal Palace 3-0 Sunderland
21 Apr 04  |  English Div 1

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