Adrian Forbes - Norwich City will not be victims of FA Cup upset

Luton players celebrate the goal from Alex Lawless that gave them victory in round three.

Luton players celebrate the goal from Alex Lawless that gave them victory in round three. - Credit: PA

Ex-Canary Adrian Forbes is not expecting another of his former clubs to pull off an FA Cup shock at Carrow Road – but he believes they are better equipped to achieve the more important goal of regaining Football League status.

Former winger Forbes spent three years at Luton Town, who provide the opposition for Norwich City in Saturday’s fourth round tie (3pm), and has positive memories of his time at Kenilworth Road.

In 2001-02, his first season after a £60,000 move from City, he helped the Hatters clinch promotion from the former Division Three, and in his final season at the club he scored a career-best 14 goals before moving on to Swansea.

Forbes was delighted to see Luton knock out Championship side Wolves in round three, but reckons Premier League Norwich will not become another scalp for Paul Buckle’s team.

The Hatters are sixth in the Blue Square Premier and 85 places below the Canaries on the English football ladder.

“I think it will be nice for Luton to push Norwich as far as they can but I think this will be a step too far to cause another upset,” he said.

“You never say never, but whatever team Chris Hughton puts out will I think have just a bit too much for them.

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“I saw highlights of the win over Wolves. What Luton have is a nice style of football and they kept the ball really well and worked harder than Wolves did, and when that happens upsets can happen, as we saw with Bradford against Aston Villa in the League Cup semi-final.

“The smaller club’s work rate goes up a gear in those games and sometimes that’s too much for the bigger club.

“But I think Norwich will have a point to prove after Saturday’s defeat at Liverpool and they will just have too much ability.”

Forbes played under Joe Kinnear and Mike Newell at Luton – where he also played briefly with current City defender Leon Barnett – and moved on in 2004, joining the Swans.

“I had to leave because they needed me off the wage bill.

“It was one of those things – I understood it at the time,” he said.

“It saddens me to see them in the Conference, from where they were a few years ago in the Championship, because they’re too a big club.

“The club was not being run properly then but is well run behind the scenes now and the staff and players will be determined to get them back into the league and climbing the league again.”

He added: “I had three years there, which included the best goalscoring run of my career. I had a knee injury in my second season which set me back but I owe so much to the physio at the time, Bruce Sewell, who has since sadly passed away with motor neurone disease.

“He worked on me for eight or nine months and got me back on the field.

“My son Ryan was born in Luton and he’s now eight years old, so yes, I still have a love for the place.”

Forbes, 34, who is part of City’s academy coaching team and is also one of BBC Radio Norfolk’s co-commentators, does not think the 5-0 Premier League defeat at Liverpool will leave any lasting damage.

“Every player has a bad game, every team has a bad day and every team comes up against another team that’s unplayable on the day,” he said.

“The way Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Henderson played, there was no way those four players were going to be stopped that day.”