Norwich City are threatening to trump West Bromwich Albion as this season’s Premier League surprise package. But that is something the Baggies will look to put right this weekend, according to their midfield star James Morrison.

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City head to The Hawthorns on Saturday aiming to protect their current run of 10 top-flight games without defeat under Chris Hughton.

Coincidentally, then-Birmingham boss Hughton was widely linked with the vacancy left by England manager Roy Hodgson at Albion before Steve Clarke stepped up from a number two at Liverpool to being a number one for the first time.

That decision looked inspired as Albion started in superb form and after wins over Chelsea and Sunderland completed a four-match winning streak, they sat third behind only the two Manchester clubs.

But since then, Albion have just one point and one goal from four matches. They now sit two points and one place above eighth-placed Norwich.

So the boot may be on the other foot at the weekend, but highly rated midfielder Morrison believes West Brom can use Sunday’s goalless Hawthorns draw with West Ham to their advantage and dish out their own form-ending lesson to the Canaries.

“Norwich have been on a good run,” said the 26-year-old Scot. “They have got midfielders who like to press, like Bradley Johnson. We know the kind of confidence you can take from a run like that so we need to put an end to it. When it’s flowing, it’s easier to play. They are in great form and we have to stop that.

“We knew there would be a sticky patch at some point. We have to keep our season going. We’ve got a good squad. We have a few injuries, but I feel if you have a bad game there is pressure on you because of the players we have in the squad.

“Coming on the back of three defeats is never nice, but we have got that off our own back so we can look forward to Norwich.”

Faltering over Christmas had previously been Norwich’s domain but that myth has been put to bed over recent seasons, while City’s record at Albion was perfect last season thanks to 2-1 victories in the league and FA Cup. However, Albion are already hoping their own nightmares of Christmas past do not visit again in 2012.

“Christmas can set you up for the season – we’ve struggled with it in the past and we can’t do that this year,” added Morrison. “We struggled under Robbie (Di Matteo), under Tony (Mowbray) and even Roy – but we have no excuse now.

“We’ve got players who know what it takes and who can respond to a sticky patch. Maybe we need one or two players, in January but we have got a squad that’s good enough to see us through this period.”

The Canaries will also be braced for a tough run of fixtures coming up, with five games in the space of just 15 days. Following Saturday’s trip to West Bromwich, City host Premier League title contenders Chelsea and Manchester City between Christmas and New Year. A visit to West Ham United on New Year’s Day then precedes Norwich’s short hop west to Peterborough in the FA Cup on January 5.

6 comments

  • I imagine, with all this rain, it`ll be pretty hard going and maybe not pretty football. All our 1st choice squad, except perhaps Tettey, have loads of experience of "English conditions". I believe WBA much the same. If it turns out to be a dire, attritional battle, with little quality on display, it`ll be meat & drink for the pundits to knock "championship level" Norwich.

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    Mad Brewer

    Saturday, December 22, 2012

  • West Brom's ground is 168 meters (551 feet) above sea level. I hope we have been dowing some serious high altitude training for this fixture !!

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    Dubai Canary

    Saturday, December 22, 2012

  • I wonder which side has the best MorisonMorrison. Find out tomorrow on a football pitch in the midlands. Isnt it the highest above sea level, hope we dont suffer altitude sickness.

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    wivenhoebudgie

    Friday, December 21, 2012

  • Lawro has West Brom predicted for a 2-0 home win today, so I feel better about our chances ! He always predicts against Norwich getting a result, and he nearly always gets it wrong - lets see him proved wrong again today !! OTBC

    Report this comment

    Dubai Canary

    Saturday, December 22, 2012

  • I`m going to give up betting! Move on, chaps. Things can only get even better. We had the goalkeeper recruitment expert, B. Gunn, on Canary Call tonight. Hilarious. No irony whatsoever. What a t***p!

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    Mad Brewer

    Saturday, December 22, 2012

  • I read somewhere that, while on duty for ROI in Italy, Hughton & his team-mates did their altitude training in Malta. Highest point all of 830 feet (Dingli). What is the definitition of "altitude" in this context? I think Hoots took the City squad for a jog up Chalk Hill for this one! Good old Lawro. He`s a lucky charm, as Dubai hints. 2-1 to City I have at bookie`s. NOT billy!

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Saturday, December 22, 2012

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