Russell calls for replay of City's last Cardiff trip
Chris Lakey Mention Norwich City's win at Cardiff last season and one thing immediately springs to mind: Ched Evans' winning goal. Evans - who had put City ahead after just quarter of an hour - picked up the ball around the halfway line.
Mention Norwich City's win at Cardiff last season and one thing immediately springs to mind: Ched Evans' winning goal.
Evans - who had put City ahead after just quarter of an hour - picked up the ball around the halfway line. There were two minutes of normal time remaining. Everyone on the City bench was screaming for Evans to head for the corner and help City leave Wales with another valuable point towards safety.
Instead, Evans kept running towards goal before, with 30 yards or so to go, he unleashed a thunderbolt of a shot that left Michael Oakes scrambling for thin air. It was a stunning goal.
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“Since I have been at the club that was the goal of the season,” said City boss Glenn Roeder. “I don't think there was another contender, that was a stunning shot worth the entrance fee alone.”
Midfielder Darel Russell agreed.
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“I think the only thing that stands in my mind was Ched Evans' goal - and I very rarely remember who's scored in what matches,” said the midfielder. “We did play well, it was a fantastic goal by Ched and I think if we can emulate that performance and get the same result it will be a great day out.”
It would also end an unwanted run - that February afternoon in Cardiff was the last time City have left an away pitch as the winning side.
“We did the right things in the right places and we produced a sharp performance and that's what we need again,” added Russell. “So hopefully we will be able to produce that performance. It is always a tough game at Cardiff - we need to be right on our game.
“It is one of those close grounds and the crowd can get a bit lively. We have to keep them as quiet as possible and perhaps they can turn on the team a bit. Hopefully we can suppress the crowd and get a result.”
Russell scored City's one and only goal of the season to date with the equaliser against Blackpool last weekend and is in line for a recall to the starting line-up this afternoon.
But he has benefitted as much as anyone else from the presence of veteran striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink at Colney this week, the former Chelsea and Leeds player joining in training simply to keep fit - but returning the favour with some useful advice.
“We obviously know what his qualities are like,” said Russell. “He has had a good week and it's been a good experience to play with a player you wouldn't have thought you would have had a chance of playing so closely with.
“He showed the boys how to finish a couple of goals and I think he's trying to get in it himself so I'm sure when he's up to full fitness and sharpness he can probably add a little bit of quality.
The training has been good, we have done a lot of finishing this week and a lot of small sided games that are quick finishing in and around the box and hopefully that is going to stand us in good stead - all you can do is keep practising these type of things that need to be done and hopefully you take that practice into a game and execute what's needed.
“After most people have gone in some of the forward players and midfielders have done extra finishing and we've had the wingers out there putting crosses in as well, so we have pretty much covered most of it.”