Iwan Roberts: Canaries must be prepared for Turf war at Burnley

Burnley v Norwich City
Norwich player Darren Huckerby scores the fifth goal against Burnley at Tu

Darren Huckerby slots home goal number five in a remarkable game at Burnley in 2004 - Norwich City need to be prepared for a battle at Turf Moor this weekend - Credit: Archant

One Premier League ground where you can’t be soft is Turf Moor, as Sean Dyche’s men will smell it and take full advantage.

If you don’t roll up your sleeves at Turf Moor, dig in, fight and compete for everything you will get turned over. 

Burnley will look at this game and see it as a great opportunity to win their first league game of the season. They go into the game after picking up a very creditable point away to Leicester City and, having twice led, came away slightly disappointed. 

It wasn’t the luckiest of grounds for me, even though back in the 2003-04 season we went there and won an incredible game 5-3 with Matty Svensson and Darren Huckerby - who was simply unplayable that  day - scoring a brace each and Leon McKenzie grabbing the other.

I was on the bench and desperately wanted to get on as I could see there were goals to be had and I wanted to reach that magical milestone of 100 goals for the club.

After warming up for the entirety of the second half, making sure NIgel Worthington knew I was ready, I finally got my wish and got on. Sadly, it was in the 90th minute - not even time to touch the ball, but I guess i did get my appearance fee. Mind you, I’d have rather had a couple of goals! 

The previous year hadn't been that much better for me - we drew 1-1, but I had to be substituted after just 23 minutes when I went up for a ball in the air, landed and hyper-extended my left leg and pulled my hamstring, which kept me out for six weeks. I’d never pulled a muscle in my life, I thought only quick players pulled hamstrings - and I didn’t really come in the category!

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I remember at the time thinking that I would run it off as no way had I pulled that muscle, but it's not something you can run off and within a minutes Marc Libbra was on to replace me. He did score the equaliser to win us a point, so my pulled hamstring wasn’t all bad news! 

I thought the lads showed much more promise up at Goodison with a much-improved performance.

Sadly, another couple of errors by players once again meant Norwich coming away empty-handed from their 16th consecutive Premier League game.

I’m desperate for the lads to break this horrendous run of defeats as I get sick of reminding myself and obviously everyone else of it! 

Daniel changed formation and I applaud him for doing that - when things aren’t happening, you have to be adaptable and try something different. Okay, it didn’t quite work last weekend, but from what I saw there were a lot more positives than in previous games; just two bits of sloppy play cost the lads and meant they came away empty-handed. 

I saw that a lot of fans didn’t think it was a penalty when Ozan Kabak bought down Allan in the 29th minute. I thought it was a stonewall penalty, sadly. The big defender hasn’t played a lot of football in the last few months and he looked rusty, which is understandable. It was a high and clumsy challenge and it looked like a challenge from a player who was starting his first game in a long time. 

The second goal was just as poor - Kenny McLean simply can't get caught in possession where he does, he’s got to move the ball quicker and be more aware of what’s around him. From the time he’s dispossessed to the time Abdoulaye Doucoure slots Everton’s second past Tim is just eight seconds, and it's game over. 

I said it at the start of the season that I thought there was a softness about Norwich which had to be addressed, and hopefully the signing of Mathias Normann will go a bit of a way to giving them more steel in that midfield. He certainly caught the eye up at Goodison.


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