Photo Gallery: MK Dons smash sorry Norwich City
Former Norwich City winger Luke Chadwick insisted his former club would find success in the Premier League this season – after playing a key role in knocking them out of the Carling Cup.
Chadwick scored twice for Milton Keynes Dons as the League One leaders cruised to an emphatic 4-0 away victory over the Canaries in last night’s second round tie.
To complete a miserable night for City, boss Paul Lambert watched new signing Daniel Ayala hobble off with a knee injury after making his first start for the club since his move from Liverpool.
The 30-year-old Chadwick scored twice in 18 appearances in a two-year spell with City after arriving from Stoke in 2006 but had successive injury problems before moving to stadium:mk. Last night at least provided him with a happier memory of Carrow Road.
“It was a great night for the team. We’ve started the season really well but no one expected us to come here and win 4-0 against a really great side like Norwich,” said Chadwick.
“Everyone’s really happy but it’s back to the bread and butter of the league on Saturday against Stevenage and that’s going to be the most important thing.”
Lambert changed all 11 players from Sunday’s Premier League draw against Stoke City for the tie against the Dons.
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“We knew they’d make some changes but Norwich have got a really strong squad and we knew whatever eleven they put out would be a strong team, so it’s a great result for us,” said Chadwick.
“But I’m sure Norwich can do well in the Premier League. It’s a wonderful club. I enjoyed my time here despite all the injuries but they’ve got a good squad together, a big squad and there’s such a great crowd here. At the home games I’m sure they’ll make it a great atmosphere and Norwich have every chance of doing well this season.”
The Dons’ four goals added to the six they scored in League One against Chesterfield on Saturday.
“They were well taken goals. We like to pass the ball but we worked hard as well,” said Chadwick. “We knew we had to get close to Norwich because if we let them play they have some really gifted players and they would hurt us, so we did well on and off the ball, I thought.
“Last season we struggled to score many goals. That was our Achilles heel really but this season we’re certainly putting our chances away and long may that continue.
“I love being at this club. I was buzzing when I signed for Norwich a few years ago but nothing really seemed to go right for me here. It was a fresh start and a new club and I was really pleased to go there and do well.”
City players were not available for interview after the match but Lambert took the blame for the heaviest defeat of his managerial stint at Carrow Road.
“I’ll take responsibility,” he said. “I pick the side so it’s my fault when we lose. I’ve never had a problem with those lads in the two years that I have been here. I haven’t had many of these experiences but when things go wrong it’s my fault.
“I’m pretty sure if you were a fan you would not be happy but if they boo we have to accept that because we never performed. They paid their money to come and watch us and we’ll try to rectify it. Sometimes you learn more about yourself when you lose as a footballer and a manager.”
City’s central defensive curse struck again with Ayala forced off towards the end with what Lambert labelled a knee problem. Zak Whitbread returned last night from a similar injury which had kept him out of the weekend draw against the Potters.
“We need to see how bad that one is,” said Lambert. “He has hurt his knee. I think everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. On the positive side Zak came through hopefully OK. We gave him a bit of game time and Morro (Steve Morison) the same and I hope they don’t have any reaction.”
Lambert is looking for a reaction of the positive variety with a daunting Premier League trip to Chelsea on Saturday.
“It is how you respond from a defeat. We had a strong side out but we got beaten by a better side,” he said.
“Listen, they are top of their league on merit. We probably helped them by not getting going at all. It was really, really disappointing. Credit to MK Dons - they were the better side. They deserved to go through.”