Norwich City ‘golden oldie’ Silvester is a big fan of the class of 2011
One of the stars of the last Norwich City team to hand out a 6-0 thrashing at Carrow Road is convinced the club is heading back to the Premier League.
Striker Peter Silvester was among the goalscorers when Ron Saunders’ Canaries hit Birmingham City for six back in April 1970.
And, 41 years on, he was on duty at the ground as a matchday host as he watched Paul Lambert’s promotion-chasers hammer Scunthorpe United by the same score.
Silvester, a member of the squad that won the Division Two title in 1971-72 to bring top-flight football to Norwich for the first time, senses a similar mood among players and fans and believes City will go up again.
“Yes, I am sure they will. The side oozes confidence, you just have to watch them,” he said. “It goes right the way through the team from John Ruddy in goal. The two centre-backs are very strong down the middle, similar to that 1971-72 team, they are very solid and every team needs that.
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“And the spirit of the players and the way they play, it’s a delight to watch and I hope that continues in the last seven games.
“They certainly turned on the style on Saturday. It’s the best I have seen them play at home for some time. They have been playing very well, but slightly better away from home than at home.”
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Silvester was especially impressed with debutant Dani Pacheco, the Spain Under-21 international on loan from Liverpool.
“The mood on Saturday at the game and the support the crowd gave the team was just fantastic, and a lot of that stemmed from the new lad who came in,” he said.
“I liked the look of him straightaway. He made a lot of good forward runs to open up the defence. For his first game, he was very aware of the players he was playing with and he and Andrew Surman played particularly well down that left-hand side.
“His first three or four passes were so crisp and accurate over 10 and 20 yards, he gave them something different and the rest of the team followed suit.”
City’s victory over Scunthorpe was the first time they had scored six times in a league game since the 6-1 home win over Millwall in Division Two in 1985, and the first 6-0 win since the Birmingham game on April 15, 1970.
Silvester scored the last goal on a night when winger Ken Foggo scored twice, with Graham Paddon, Albert Bennett and an own goal from Ray Martin also contributing to the scoreline.
It was the penultimate game of the 1969-70 season as City rounded off their Division Two campaign with an unbeaten 12-match run.
“We were having a good run, but the way Ron Saunders played made it difficult to score too many goals,” recalled Silvester, now 63.
“He tended to play just one of us up front, although Albert played that night which was good. Ron’s attitude was that we started with a point, we weren’t going to concede goals and anything we got on top of that was a bonus.
“I don’t think we changed our tactics – it was just one of those nights when everything went well for us.
“Neither of us was in contention for promotion or in danger of relegation so it was one of those games that was almost played out as an end-of-season contest.
“I can remember we were well in control, much as they were on Saturday.”
Silvester scored 37 goals in 113 games for City after signing from Reading for �20,000 in 1969. He scored 12 times in the 1971-72 promotion season but missed the final three months of the campaign because of a knee injury that ultimately sidelined him for two years.