Tamworth win means cup run on cards

City's victory at Tamworth was very welcome and, given the circumstances, a better and more comfortable result than most expected.

City's victory at Tamworth was very welcome and, given the circumstances, a better and more comfortable result than most expected.

Of course some fans are never happy, but cup football is all about getting to the next round and the three-goal margin at The Lamb was larger (and the performance more dominant) than when the classy City side of 93/94 visited Wycombe Wanderers.

The next round, at Blackpool, will be no pushover, but good cup runs are often constructed upon the foundation of wins against lower-league opposition.

When Millwall reached the 2004 FA Cup Final they started with Walsall, went on to play Telford, Burnley and Tranmere, and only then did they come up against a big side, namely Sunderland. Incidentally, the semi final against the Black Cats saw a nasty injury suffered by Kevin Muscat, who was forced to miss the subsequent cup final. Can we all shout 'Karma' loud enough to be heard in Melbourne?

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In the build up to the Tamworth tie many observers highlighted City's recent poor record in the FA Cup (3rd round winners only once in the previous nine seasons). Under close examination though, that sequence does include seven away ties, four against sides from a higher division and three against eventual finalists.

And when compared to Charlton (cup losers to Nottm Forest, Leicester, Gillingham & Walsall, all in the last five seasons) it looks almost respectable.

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Let us hope that we will be in the hat for round five and can progress even further.

V Andrei Shevchenko is finding it tough going at the moment. The signing that would seal Chelsea's Premiership hat-trick has scored only six goals this season, with only one in his last 14 appearances.

By comparison Dion Dublin, the 37-year-old utility player derided by many as a desperate signing by a desperate manager, has scored five goals, leads our assists chart, has put in numerous man-of-the-match performances and will run Earnie hard for Player of the Season plaudits in May.

Few (and certainly not me) can claim to have foreseen the impact that DD would have at NCFC, but this comparison demonstrates clearly that the success of any player-signing depends greatly on luck and other unknowns.

V There seems to be some confusion about Peter Grant.

When we beat Birmingham & Cardiff he was praised to the heavens, yet when City rolled over at Stoke and Ipswich it was all the fault of the squad he inherited.

A manager's job is not just about signing new players, he must also be able to inspire, motivate and improve the players who were there when he arrived.

Saunders, Bond & Walker built successful sides by mixing their new signings with players already at the club. The same is true of Worthington and I hope the same will apply to Peter Grant.

We are unlikely to see the Team That Peter Built until next pre-season. Until that time can we please work on the basis that the results achieved by Norwich City are solely his responsibility?

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