Don’t moan – we’re going for a Norwich City record!

Gary Hooper scores what turns out to be the winning goal at Bolton in April, 2015. Picture: Paul Che

Gary Hooper scores what turns out to be the winning goal at Bolton in April, 2015. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Question: Who got a hat-trick when we beat Bolton in the League Cup in 1995?

Gary Hoooper gets a hug from Sebastien Bassong after his winner at Bolton. Picture: Paul Chesterton/

Gary Hoooper gets a hug from Sebastien Bassong after his winner at Bolton. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

(Answer at bottom)

Many of us Canaries fans are prepared for another long road trip today to Bolton. Or should I say Horwich?

Horwich, where Bolton Wanderers play, is actually a small town five miles from the town of Bolton.


It’s a ground where we’ve been successful in our last two visits, winning 2-1 on both occasions – remember Gary Hooper’s memorable goal in the final minute of our last visit in April 2015?


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At the time it was our ninth consecutive away game without defeat – seven of which we won. We also won away just a few days later, 2-0 at Leeds. It was definitely a good time following Norwich on the road back then.

Today we will equal a club record if we win, which would be five consecutive wins away from home in the league. The only other time we’ve won five away leagues games in a row was at the beginning of the 1988/89 season in the old Division One.

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Back in 1988, Norwich had wins at Middlesbrough, Newcastle, Derby, Manchester United and Wimbledon. Only a dodgy penalty decision against us in the next away game at Everton prevented us getting a sixth consecutive win – we drew 1-1.

Like many Canaries fans, I’ve been to so many away games and, yes, I’ve seen some dross over the years travelling the length of the country hoping for a win only to come away totally disappointed, so I appreciate the good times and winning away, especially when we are not expected to.

I can honestly say that I didn’t expect us to win any of our last four away league games – at Sheffield United, Middlesbrough, Reading and Ipswich – but each win was hard-fought with a specific game plan which Daniel Farke worked up a treat.

However, a week in football is a long time, they say – as been proved this week. This time last week, before the Derby County visit, everybody connected with the club was on a high. Nothing but positive vibes were reverberating around Carrow Road – I’m sure even the regular moaners weren’t moaning.

But since then, after two home defeats, the doom and gloom has returned for the first time since the end of August. First Derby and then Wolves on Tuesday.

It could have been different had some decisions gone our way – if we had been awarded a penalty after Derby keeper Scott Carson’s tackle on Josh Murphy; the majority of people at Carrow Road were surprised it wasn’t given. The rest, as they say is history.

Sadly, I honestly thought both teams deserved the wins they got and it showed we are a work in progress. But it also showed that our team is paper thin, especially up front. In recent weeks, the absence of Nelson Oliveira, through injury, and Marley Watkins, through suspension, has put a lot of pressure on Cameron Jerome. Despite scoring only one league goal, his performances have been superb, but I think we can all see he needs a break.

One of my only criticism of the management team is allowing players like Carlton Morris to go out on loan. If Tristan Abrahams and Pierre Fonkeu are not in the immediate plans, why then has Morris been sent out on loan with no option of call back?

It appears that Farke and Co have adjusted to the English game quickly and learnt from mistakes in some of the early games and whilst it may not be pretty, we are becoming a tough team to beat away from home. They say you learn more from defeats and maybe after this week, Farke may learn a thing or two more about us and the English game.

I’m not majorly upset or panicky after our two defeats – but I might be if we don’t equal a club record today and don’t win.

OTBC

Answer: Bryan Gunn – he saved three penalties in the penalties shoot-out!

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