Norwich City cruise into fourth round of the FA Cup
14:55 11 January 2012
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Norwich City beat Burnley 4-1 on Saturday at Carrow Road as they cruised into the fourth round of the FA Cup for the first time since 2007 and only the third time in the last 15 seasons.
Many fans were in two minds about the desirability of an FA Cup run this season, given that our overriding priority must be to retain our Premier League status, but the Norwich City manager showed that the cup did matter to him at least by fielding a stronger team than many fans had expected for this tie. Ruddy did not feature because his wife gave birth to a daughter on Friday, so Declan Rudd had a rare start in goal and Jed Steer sat on the bench. Drury retained his place in the back four with Martin, Whitbread, and Ayala. Fox, Crofts, Surman and Hoolahan made up the midfield, while Holt and Jackson started up front.
In front of a crowd of nearly 23,000 City took the lead when Holt headed Hoolahan’s cross into the back of the net. It was 2-0 in the 12th minute when Jackson scored with another header from Drury’s cross (how does such a small man manage to score so many goals with great headers?). Burnley pulled one back when Rodriguez converted Wallace’s free kick. So City are still waiting for their first clean sheet of the season. Holt should have restored their two goal advantage soon afterwards, but his penalty kick was wide of the left hand post. It was his first penalty miss since joining the Canaries.
Surman added a third goal for the Canaries in the second half following good work by Drury and Jackson. After 70 minutes Wilbraham and Morison replaced Holt and Jackson and they soon combined to allow Morison to score City’s fourth goal after the Burnley keeper could not hold Wilbraham’s effort.
So all in all a good day for the Canaries. Our strikers had a good afternoon. City played well, and won comfortably. Most observers agreed that playing in the Premier League week in and week out had made them a better side than last year.
Our reward for beating Burnley is an away trip to play West Brom in the fourth round, only a few weeks after our league game at the Hawthorns this coming Saturday. I still think our overall priority should be to retain our Premier League status, but a cup run does bring in a few quid, and the fans can still dream of further progress. It has been too long since our colours graced Wembley stadium, and since the cup draw seems to be pitting the top six against each other, who knows what might happen?
It was good to see Liverpool apologise so quickly to Tom Adeyemi after his horrendous experience at Anfield. And well done Dirk Kuyt and Steven Gerrard for consoling him.
If you believe the PinkUn Message Board Norwich are due to sign 24 players in this transfer window, which should make for some interesting squad numbers. All I will say is watch that space. Mr Lambert has said he wants to strengthen the squad but is keeping his cards close to his chest about who and when.
All I will say is: “Alas poor Mr Warnock. I knew him well”. Maybe we will now hear less of him for a while…..unless of course he is in line for a job in Suffolk….. But I must not start another rumour. There are quite enough unfounded rumours about transfers and personnel changes already. Roll on the 31st of January…