City on the road back
Chris Lakey Norwich City put a difficult week behind them with their biggest goal haul for more than a year and a half on Saturday - leaving manager Glenn Roeder ticking off another step on the path to Championship survival.
Norwich City put a difficult week behind them with their biggest goal haul for more than a year and a half on Saturday - leaving manager Glenn Roeder ticking off another step on the path to Championship survival.
The 5-1 demolition of Colchester United went a long way to easing City's relegation worries and putting football back on the top of the agenda after Matty Pattison's drink-driving charge had given the club headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Pattison played almost an hour on Saturday, leaving the pitch to a standing ovation, handshakes from his team-mates and hugs from Roeder and assistant manager Lee Clark.
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But it didn't overshadow City's five-star display, with Jamie Cureton scoring his first hat-trick in the yellow and green - and the 10th of his career - sandwiched by Jon Otsemobor's first for the club and Dion Dublin's sublime injury time effort to edge the Canaries up to 16th in the table and five points clear of the drop zone with six games remaining.
"It was one of those days when everything we did came off," he said.
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"Football doesn't always pan out like that, but today I couldn't have written it any better.
"It was a good afternoon's work. We have threatened a few times recently, certainly in the last two games, to score three or four goals
"We did that against a team that's top of the table, Stoke, and that's what is frustrating, when you play as well as that and miss chances and don't take points off a team like Stoke, then go up to Sheffield United and do exactly the same thing.
"But the boys kept their belief, kept their nerve, and came out today and got a thoroughly deserved victory.
"Those who watch the game know the five goals weren't the only five chances we created."
It was City's first win in six attempts, and Roeder believes his team can go on another unbeaten run to settle the nerves once and for all.
"I don't see why not," he said. "We have spoken this week and done a lot of talking. We have said to the players that it is a seven-game project and part one of the project was to win today, so we can put a tick in that box and now the second part of the project is go to Bristol City and win as well.
"And we will try and do what we did when there was a period of five, six, seven games when we were top of the table on away form and we very much had the approach of, 'we will play like the home team'.
"We won't sit back and take it on the chin, we will try and play in the opposing half and play as if we were at Carrow Road, and we will do that at Ashton Gate next week. We will try and play as the home team."