City the Championship standard for rival boss

Birmingham City manager John Eustace is a fan of Norwich City

Birmingham City manager John Eustace is a fan of Norwich City - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City remain the team to beat in the Championship for Birmingham City chief John Eustace, after his side’s League Cup penalty exit. 

The Blues came from 2-0 down to force penalties on Tuesday night at Carrow Road, before losing 4-2 in the shoot out.

Norwich head to Hull City this weekend still looking for their first league win of the campaign, but Eustace is tipping them for an immediate Premier League return. 

“You look at the Norwich City squad and team, they are a fantastic group of players. It is a brilliant place to play your football. There is a real buzz it seems,” he said. “I watched that Wigan game and they could have been three or four up after 20 minutes. It is a top Championship team. We came and tried to implement our game plan.   

“Obviously, we were disappointed to go in 2-0 down, I thought it was a little bit harsh. But these are a top, top team. You look at their bench, you look at their squad, you look at their players. These will be one of the top teams in the league for sure, I am sure they will be in the top two and get promoted.” 

Birmingham travel to Norwich’s opening day opponents, Cardiff, this weekend, and despite four points from the first six Eustace believes they are in a survival scrap. 

“We know we are favourites to be relegated so there is a lot to fight for within this group and whoever puts on the shirt,” he said. “We have started the league quite well, there is a togetherness and the only way we achieve what we want to is to keep that going. 

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“I was so proud of the group (at Norwich). We had a lot of young players. 16, 17, 18 making their full debuts and credit to them. We want to be hard to play against, and we want that fantastic team spirit, and they showed that.”