Eadie: Stage set for Cody to shine

Jonathan Redhead Former Norwich City winger Darren Eadie suffered some FA Cup catastrophes during his career - but expects his old club to have no problem with their tie on Saturday. The Canaries travel to face Paulton Rovers, the lowest ranked team in the competition, for Saturday's televised first round clash, with the eyes of a nation looking on in anticipation of an upset.

Jonathan Redhead

Former Norwich City winger Darren Eadie suffered some FA Cup catastrophes during his career - but expects his old club to have no problem with their tricky tie on Saturday.

The Canaries travel to face Paulton Rovers, the lowest ranked team in the competition, for Saturday's televised first round clash, with the eyes of a nation looking on in anticipation of an upset.

But Eadie, who was part of the top-flight Leicester City side famously knocked out by Roy Essandoh and third-tier Wycombe Wanderers in the sixth round in 2001, does not believe the Canaries will suffer similar agonies at the hands of the Southern League side.


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Substitute Essandoh became a celebrity overnight for his late headed winner against the Foxes as the Chairboys, under Lawrie Sanchez, went on to reach the semi-finals.

Essandoh disappeared from the scene almost as quickly as he arrived, but Eadie is confident no Paulton players will be adorning the back pages of the papers on Sunday morning.

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“It's one of the games I suppose everybody's looking at as a potential banana skin,” the former England U21 international said.

“I think probably a couple of months ago it would have been a real problem but I think the way Norwich are playing at the moment, I don't see any problems, especially with the manager they have now.

“I think he'll approach it in the most professional manner he can.

“It's the same as at any level. You've got the players for that level and it's just getting the best out of them and that comes down to your manager and his staff, and then winning a few games.

“As soon as you can do that winning games breeds confidence and everybody's on a high. And I'm sure they will be looking at the automatic promotion themselves.

“It can come down to the individual really. If a player's got the right attitude to go out there, and I think these players have, I don't think Paul Lambert's going to have anybody in his side that's going to take it too easy.

“I think he's got the best out of every single player he's got and I think he's shown he knows the right ones to use at the right times.”

Eadie says Cody McDonald should be in line for a start against Rovers and could be the sort of player to quickly quell and thoughts of a giantkilling.

“I don't think Lambert will play his full team at the weekend,” Eadie said. “I think he'll have a couple of them on the bench and give a couple of youngsters a chance. It wouldn't surprise me to see Cody McDonald playing to be honest.

“I think it would be a great game for him to make a mark.

“He's a very raw talent. We all know he can score goals at non-league level and done it very well. Every opportunity he has had at Norwich so far I think he's certainly not done anything wrong.

“He's a raw talent, he's very pacy, and very direct and I think somebody like that is needed in those kind of cup games purely because they can be potential banana skins and if you do sit back on your laurels and don't attack then you can get caught out.

“But I think turning their defence straight away, from the first minute, could be a good thing.”

While Eadie is confident the Canaries will survive unscathed, he admits an upset, like the one he suffered at the hands of Wycombe can have a huge negative effect.

“It does take a long while to get over,” he said.

“Unfortunately we were at home as well which makes it even worse. We went 1-0 down and I set up Muzzy Izzet for the equaliser and then we were in control of the game and thought to ourselves, 'we'll go back to Wycombe and put this bad performance behind us and go from there'.

“And then that's what the FA Cup's made of isn't it. They bring on a substitute who's never played before, and never played again since, and he comes on and scores the winner.

“It's just typical FA Cup. Those kinds of stories happen and Norwich have had plenty of disasters over the years in the FA Cup and haven't had a decent run at all, and we don't want to see them going out at the very first hurdle.”

And a good cup run could also help City's bid to get back into the Championship, according to Eadie.

“I think when you play at League One level, I think a good cup run is beneficial because it brings finances into the club,” he said.

“I think if you're in the Championship and you're looking to get promoted you may think about it differently, but any money that can be poured into the club from a good cup run is great.

“Winning games is the most important thing and if you can keep on a roll doing that, there's no reason why that can't rub off onto your league form.”

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