Shackell means to enjoy his Cup bow
Jason Shackell has waited a long time for his FA Cup debut for Norwich City - and is determined not to be on the wrong end of a giant-killing. Despite making his first senior appearance for the Canaries nearly four years ago, the 23-year-old defender has yet to play in the competition.
Jason Shackell has waited a long time for his FA Cup debut for Norwich City - and is determined not to be on the wrong end of a giant-killing.
Despite making his first senior appearance for the Canaries nearly four years ago, the 23-year-old defender has yet to play in the competition.
Shackell was an unused substitute for last year's third round defeat by eventual finalists West Ham, and was also on the bench three seasons ago at Everton, when City lost 3-1, without getting a slice of the action.
But he finally gets his chance in the famous old competition as Peter Grant's men visit Tamworth for their televised third round tie.
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The BBC have chosen the match for live coverage because of its shock potential, and Grant has stressed again and again that City need to show healthy respect for their Conference opponents - but not so much that they become jittery at the risk of becoming fall guys in front of a nationwide audience. The message seems to have got through to his players.
“It's going to be a difficult one,” said Shackell. “We've got to make sure we go with the right attitude and go there and want to win the game. And hopefully play how we know we can play and come away with a positive result.
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“I don't know much about Tamworth but I'm sure being down in the Conference they're going to be a hard-working, battling side and it's going to be a tough game.
“But we've got enough players that have been around long enough now not to worry about that, or the cameras and the TV. We'll get down to it like any other game, make sure we go there, don't under-estimate them and win the tie.”
Shackell is also anxious to avoid any repeat of the error that contributed to Crystal Palace's third goal in City's 3-1 defeat on New Year's Day.
“Things have been going OK individually. I've been fairly happy with the way I've been performing, but I was frustrated with myself on Monday after making a mistake for the third goal, missing the header.
“We've come away with five points from the last four games, which is disappointing with the way we've played. At Wolves we definitely deserved three points. We let it slip at the end which was very, very frustrating, all the boys feel it. Against Southend, maybe a draw was a fair result, then you're looking at QPR where we deserved to win and Crystal Palace where the performance was really good but we made some individual errors and it cost us.
“Apart from that, as a team, some of the performances have been really good. It's just getting that consistency week in, week out.”
Grant will wait for fitness checks on Dickson Etuhu and Darren Huckerby before naming his side, but expects both to be available.
“Dickson's still having a problem with his foot and Hucks we'll just monitor closely because of his hamstring but I'm sure he'll be fine.
“Apart from probably Luke Chadwick, I'm hopeful everybody's going to be fully fit.”
He said of Etuhu: “I just think he needs to play. He's one of these players who I think he gets more and more confident the more games he has. He's got to play more games even when sometimes he's not playing as well, to get that confidence of playing in the role I want him to play in the team.
“I think he's got all the attributes to be a top player and sometimes you've got to get through good games, bad games and indifferent games to get the best of him. The great thing about him is he wants to play every game.”
Tamworth added one new face to their squad yesterday when they signed Birmingham left-winger Jamie Price on loan, but he is unlikely to be in the starting line-up.
However, they are also trying to complete the signing of Crawley striker Jake Edwards - who figured in last season's FA Cup run -and if the move goes through, he could be in the starting line-up.