Glenn Roeder's team talk on Tuesday night would have probably been the shortest one that he's ever had to deliver.
Something along the lines of: ?Now you know you seriously ****** it up against this lot three weeks ago chaps, so go out and put the cards straight please…? would have more than likely been the gist of it.
He had to make a few decisions beforehand though concerning the make-up of his starting line-up and the formation with which he wanted his side to play, seeing as there is unquestionably a welcome and genuine struggle developing within the squad now for a nod from the gaffer for a place in his team.
Strikers Cureton and Evans came in for Dublin and Croft as the City boss reverted back from the 4-3-3 formation he had deployed at Stoke to his preferred 4-4-2 line-up, and it was also good to see Jon Otsemobor back in action after he had impressed at Blackpool but then missed out at Stoke on Saturday due to a migraine ? although having said that City's back four were probably all suffering similar symptoms on the way home from the Potteries considering the number of times they were forced to deal with long, direct aerial balls into their penalty area!
The one to miss out at the back though was perhaps more of a surprise than the changes made in attack, but by also leaving club captain Jason Shackell sitting on the bench, Roeder sent out the clearest of statements to his players to the effect that no-one is guaranteed a starting place in his team.
The Canaries, of course, got off to a dream start.
Evans raced clear of the offside trap and coolly slotted past Romain Larrieu in goal after just two minutes had elapsed, but far form it leading to the Canaries relaxing and manoeuvring the ball about the pitch with quality, speed and fluency much in the manner of the their previous three matches, for some reason it was to prove to be one of those nights when they struggled to get out of first gear.
Now then, as frustrating as much of City's play was last night, this is probably why all Canaries supporters will have woken up with a huge smile on their faces the following morning, seeing as regulars here at Carrow Road as well as those that follow City away from home will know only too well that, prior to Glenn Roeder's arrival, this is precisely the type of game that would usually have seen Norwich return to their dressing room empty-handed and to a chorus of boos.
No-one could deny that City had tried to give it their best but it just didn't happen on the night, but things are clearly at lot different nowadays than they were a month or so ago.
City were sloppy in possession too frequently, and the situation was allowed to develop whereby the game was taking place in Norwich's half of the pitch for long periods and with Plymouth threatening to draw themselves on level terms.
Marshall, Otsemobor, Doherty, Taylor and Camara held firm, but the mere fact that Carrow Road was deathly quiet by and large last night revealed that Evans and Jamie Cureton were basically being starved of the ball.
And even Huckerby's penalty doubling Norwich's lead with just ten minutes remaining didn't allow us to breath easier as the final whistle approached, because when Kristian Timar glanced his header past Marshall, suddenly we were all nervously looking at the stadium clock once again.
But with City still battling to escape the bottom three performances have to come second to actually putting points on the board,
This is a results business, but given the standard of football we have witnessed from Norwich recently it would also be fair to say that this was merely an off day.
After all, following a goal drought of some ten and a half hours not so long ago, three wins in the last four matches is indeed some turnaround, and although whatever Glenn Roeder actually said to the Canaries at about twenty minutes to eight on Tuesday didn't subsequently lead to the Canaries tearing into Plymouth and ripping them to shreds for 90 minutes, it certainly achieved the desired outcome.
Might just be worth a repeat performance from him at about five to three on Saturday!
Leave a Reply