Andrew Surman: Fluid Norwich City proved too strong
Andrew Surman was delighted to play his part as Norwich City proved exactly how far they have come in the space of a year by finally making some FA Cup progress.
The Canaries put a decent Burnley side to the sword on Saturday with a fluid performance that oozed Premier League class, to book a fourth round tie for only the third time in 15 seasons.
City’s FA Cup prize is a trip to West Bromwich Albion on the weekend of January 28-29 – only a fortnight after the two sides meet in the Premier League, also at The Hawthorns.
And Surman, scorer of City’s killer third goal, acknowledged a starting XI made up of 10 players from the Canaries’ successful promotion campaign last term helped produce an eye-catching performance.
“If you look at the team, everyone apart from Dani Ayala was there last season and obviously midfield-wise I’ve played with (David) Fox, Wes (Hoolahan) and (Andrew) Crofts and I think we gel well together, so we know each other’s game like the back of our hands,” said Surman.
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“They came with a game plan to stop us playing but I think we managed to move it quite well and the fluency was because we played with each other all last season.
“I was pleased with the goal; it was a good build-up – actually all the goals were good build-up play – so it was great to get on the scoresheet, but the most important thing was to get into the next round.
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“Probably subconsciously it was different to playing Burnley last season. You can’t really tell how much further you’ve come than them really, but today I think we played with a higher tempo and I suppose that’s what the Premier League brings.
“But it was just an all round good team performance and we played as well as that last season in games. We probably had a bit too much for them today.
“Obviously they put up a good fight and when it went to 2-1 we needed the third and fourth just to finish them off. They are a decent team as well, they’re doing well in the Championship, so that’s a good win today.”
The afternoon could have been even more comfortable has skipper Grant Holt added to his eighth goal of the campaign by burying a 31st minute penalty with City 2-1 ahead – instead the number nine drove the wrong side of Lee Grant’s post, missing his first penalty in a yellow shirt.
“You can’t give him stick – you’d get a backlash, I think,” joked Surman. “He’s scored goal after goal, so one penalty it doesn’t really matter. We won 4-1. If we’d drawn 1-1 or lost 1-0, something like that, it might have been a bit different, but he’s scored so many goals to get us where we are now we have no qualms with that.”
And no doubt City fans will agree, as Holt kicked off the scoring with a trademark header after just five minutes.
Not to be outdone, Steve Morison came off the bench and duly added his eighth of the campaign as well – after good work from Aaron Wilbraham – to complete the scoring, while Simeon Jackson got his third of the season soon after Holt’s opener for a Norwich side finding goals easy to come by.
“It’s good competition for places,” acknowledged Surman, who has two goals to his name in 2011-12. “Holt’s track record is there and so is Moro’s (Morison). He has come in and done really well, and Holt has carried on from where he left off last season.
“It’s always great to have two strikers like that scoring goals, and obviously Jackson too. Albi hasn’t had much game time and he came on and did well.
“It’s that competition for places and if you play in the Premier League or in a cup, you need to be able to score goals and I think that’s what they deliver.”