Mark Bunn saves a point for Norwich City at QPR

Wes Hoolahan goes close at Loftus Road. Picture: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images

Wes Hoolahan goes close at Loftus Road. Picture: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City drew 0-0 with Queen’s Park Rangers on Saturday at Loftus Road. The Canaries were indebted to goalkeeper Mark Bunn, who kept them in the game with a series of fine saves, including a penalty save from Taarabt.

Norwich started with the same team that drew 1-1 against Spurs at Carrow Road on Wednesday. New signing Luciano Becchio started on the bench. In the opening exchanges Taarabt threatened the Norwich goal on three occasions and also set up Mackie, rumoured to be a target for the Canaries during the transfer window. City’s best effort came from the lively Hoolahan. After 24 minutes Pilkington was forced to leave the field with a hamstring problem and Elliott Bennett came on in his place. Soon afterwards the Canaries created chances for Snodgrass and Holt after good work by Hoolahan and Garrido. Just before half-time Turner had to leave the field with blood pouring from his face but returned for the second period.

The second half was more eventful than the first. Garrido was booked seven minutes into the second half for a body check. Immediately afterwards QPR keeper Cesar saved well from Hoolahan, and Holt went close. The drama continued. After 56 minutes Bunn was adjudged to have brought down Mackie following a poor back pass by Garrido. The City keeper was booked and Taarabt took the resulting penalty, Bunn however was equal to the occasion and dived to his left to make a fine save. The travelling Canary fans took the opportunity to remind QPR and their support that ”Odemwingie – he would have scored that”.

Seconds later Bunn made another fine save from Taarabt, and at the other end Cesar saved imperiously from Johnson. Both sides were looking for a winner, and both sides had chances. Tettey, Turner, and Bassong all received bookings. Bunn made two more good saves from Townsend, and Snodgrass and Holt went close for City. Becchio finally came on for three minutes in place of Hoolahan for his Norwich debut. Wearing their changed away strip, the men in black held out for the six minutes of injury time to secure the clean sheet, the draw, and another precious away point. Although it is now eight games since they won a league match, the Canaries will see this as a point gained, and will be more satisfied with their day’s work than will QPR.

So the January transfer window has finally slammed shut, and despite all the rumours, speculation, and alleged sightings in local supermarkets, the only movement out of Carrow Road was the departures of Simon Lappin and Steve Morison, to Cardiff City and Leeds United respectively. We thank them both for their contribution to the Canary cause over the last few years and wish them well in their future careers. As for players coming in, we welcome Luciano Becchio from Leeds United and Kei Kamara from Kansas. May they both have long and successful careers in the Canary shirt. Press speculation linked the Canaries with no fewer than 46 players during this window of opportunity, but neither Gary Hooper, Curtis Davies, Danny Graham, Uncle Tom Cobbley or any of the other names mentioned actually materialised. The next transfer window opens at the end of the season…..when speculation will no doubt be rife once more.

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Now is the time for the players and supporters to forget transfer speculation and concentrate on points accumulation. City are now in 14th position in the Premier League with 28 points. We are seven points clear of the three bottom clubs, and only two behind the club in 10th place. By my reckoning four more wins from our remaining 13 games will be sufficient to secure safety. That is achievable. We should not be smug nor complacent, but quietly confident. The financial rewards for staying up are vital for our club’s future. Let us all work together to reach that target.

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