Norwich City A-Z: Can Jones go one better with Hatters?

Norwich City's Teemu Pukki after scoring against Luton Town

Teemu Pukki and Todd Cantwell were both on target in a 3-0 home win over Luton Town in March, 2021 - Credit: PA

Our A-Z journey through Norwich City's Championship season takes Chris Lakey to Luton, Middlesbrough and Millwall

Luton 

Manager   

Nathan Jones 

Luton Town manager Nathan Jones salutes the fans

Luton Town manager Nathan Jones salutes the Hatters' fans - Credit: PA

Had great success with Luton in his first spell as manager but was lured away by the bright lights of Stoke, in January 2019. It didn’t work out and by the November he was gone. Returned to Luton 18 months after his exit and admitted he had to get the fans back onside. He kept them up (on the final day), then guided them to 12th and, last season, well and truly won them over with a place in the play-offs. 

Last season   

Sixth 

Most Read

A quite stunning effort by a club without the resources of most of their promotion rivals. Came up short in the play-off semi-final when they were beaten by Huddersfield, but they won themselves a lot of friends on the way. 

Last time v NCFC   

(2020-21)  

Norwich City 3   Luton 0 

Pukki (2) 

Cantwell 

Luton 3               Norwich City 1 
Moncur               Buendia pen 

Pearson  
Collins pen 

Star man   

Elijah Adebayo   

In his first full season he was the Hatters’ top scorer with 16 goals in 38 starts. Had a few seasons in the lower leagues but proved he can cut it at a higher level. Powerful striker, at 6ft 4ins, and good not just in the air but on the ground too. And when he hits a penalty, it stays hit. Not many from outside the area. 

AOB   

The Norwich City influence. Four ex-Canaries - Cameron Jerome, Henri Lansbury, Robert Snodgrass and Jed Steer – all donned Luton colours last season. 

Verdict   

Came so close, but are they equipped to go again? It’s a tough ask. Think they might have to settle for mid-table. 

Middlesbrough 

Manager   

Chris Wilder 

Middlesbrough manager Chris Wilder

Middlesbrough manager Chris Wilder - Credit: PA

Been in charge since last November, having really come to notice at Sheffield United, a club he took into the Premier League, and kept there until he left in March 2021. Abrasive at times – had an infamous pop at Norwich City for not getting to Bramall Lane on time, but later conceded it was heat of the moment stuff. 

Last season   

Seventh 

Five points outside the play-offs – a run of three consecutive home defeats in the final two months were costly, but it was their recruitment that let them down, and led to the departure of Neil Warnock. 

Last time v NCFC   

(2020-21)  

Norwich City 0      Boro 0 

Boro 0                    Norwich City 1 
                                Pukki pen 

 Star man   

Jonny Howson 

And why not? Boro had a good run to the FA Cup quarter-finals where they lost to Chelsea, and it was a chance for us all to see that former Canary Howson was still a class act. He’s 34 now, but the appetite, energy and skills are all there.  

AOB   

Kieran Scott 

Kieran Scott

Kieran Scott - Credit: Tony Thrussell

Scott joined Boro last August from Norwich, leaving a role as head of recruitment to become a head of football – effectively sporting director. Well thought-of in the game, this summer could be the time he needs to prove it and get the recruitment spot on. 

Verdict   

They are very often dark horses for a promotion spot, but too often fail to deliver. This is Wilder’s first full season, he has Scott to work alongside – and don’t be too surprised if it pays off. Play-off spot. 

Millwall  

Manager   

Gary Rowett 

MIllwall manager Gary Rowett 

MIllwall manager Gary Rowett - Credit: Getty Images

Been at The Den since October 2019, having had relatively short spells at Burton, Birmingham, Derby and Stoke. Current job is the longest period he has been at one club – two years and eight months. Sacked by Birmingham when seventh in the Championship – the new owners wanted, and got, Gianfranco Zola. Took Derby into play-offs in 2018. Eight days after they lost, he was appointed Stoke manager. 

Last season 

Ninth 

Millwall were in the play-off picture until the last day of the season, but ultimately missed out by six points. Probably deserved that because they hadn’t been in the top six all season. 

Last time v NCFC   

(2020-21)  

Millwall 0            Norwich City 0 

Norwich City 0   Millwall 0 

Star man   

Bartosz Bialkowski 

A fan favourite – got a podium place in the supporters’ club player of the season awards for the third year running. The former Ipswich Town keeper played every Championship game last season and kept 13 clean sheets. 

AOB   

Benik Afobe  

Millwall's Benik Afobe applauds the fans at Nottingham Forest

Benik Afobe - once heavily linked with a move to Carrow Road - was Millwall's leading scorer last season - Credit: PA

With a dozen goals in 34 starts he was the Lions’ top scorer last season, which he spent on a season long loan from Stoke City. Has a long list of clubs, with transfers totalling £34m, and has had a dozen different loan spells. Norwich City fans will probably remember the long-running saga of 2015 when a big-money move to Norfolk was discussed at great length - only for it to come to nothing. 

Verdict   

Was a more-than-decent effort last season, but Millwall have lost their leading scorer – mid-table region for them.