Norris has good vibes from visit to Argyle
Former player of the year David Norris hopes the 'tough times' are over for Plymouth Argyle.
Norris, 32, praised the family club feel at Home Park as one of the main reasons why the Pilgrims survived a catastrophic financial collapse and then narrowly escaped relegation from the Football League in two successive seasons.
The Leeds United midfielder made the most of the latest international break to return to Plymouth at the weekend to witness another of his former clubs, Portsmouth, in the Dockyard derby at Home Park.
Norris was 'blown away' by the reception he received and admitted he would 'never say never' about a return to the Pilgrims before the end of his playing career.
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He signed for Argyle from Bolton Wanderers, initially on loan before completing a £25,000 transfer, during the 2002-03 season.
Norris went on to make 243 appearances for the Pilgrims and scored 28 goals before sealing a £2 million-plus move to Ipswich Town in January 2008.
During his time at Home Park, he picked up a Division Two title winners' medal in 2003-04 and was a key part of the squad as Argyle became established in the Championship.
He was saddened to see the club's dramatic fall from grace, but believes the worst is now over for them.
Norris said: "A lot of the staff behind the scenes are still the same as when I was here.
"The family club that I left has stayed intact, and that's probably why it is still going now. It has obviously been through some really tough times.
"From the club I remember, everyone was in it together. The lads all knew the backroom staff and the people in the offices.
"That was a really nice touch, and it seems like it's exactly the same now, and probably why the club is as strong as it, given what it has been through.
"I had such good times here, and you want them to still do well. I always look out for their results.
"I kept in a touch with a few people and sent the odd signed shirt and stuff to try to do a little bit. I get the feeling from speaking to people that the worst is over. The same with Portsmouth, to be fair. It seems like both clubs are now settled. They are not flying along, but they are getting along. Hopefully, from now on, it can only get better for both of them."
Norris had not been back to Home Park since he played for Ipswich in a 3-1 win against Argyle in the Championship in October 2008. He was introduced to the Green Army at half-time of the Dockyard derby and enjoyed the game.
Norris said: "I think it could have gone either way, to be honest. Plymouth started really well and the way they passed and moved it I thought they would go on and win it.
"I know Plymouth might not have been on a great run, but you wouldn't have known."
Norris signed for Leeds from Portsmouth in the summer of 2012 and made a total of 34 appearances last season, scoring four goals.
However, he has played only once this term – in a Capital One Cup first-round tie at home to Chesterfield in August, which United won 2-1 Norris said: "I have enjoyed it at Leeds. I have had a good time so far."
The Plymouth Argyle Cornish Supporters' Association are holding a fans' forum with manager John Sheridan at the end of this month.
It will take place at Bodmin Town Football Club, Priory Park, on Tuesday, October 29 (7.30pm).
There is free admission and all Argyle fans are welcome to attend.