The Canaries go into tonight's FA Cup third round replay at Bury – weather permitting – with no fresh injury worries, but boss Glenn Roeder hinted he may make changes to Saturday's winning line-up as City look to bag a fourth round trip to Southampton.
After picking up an excellent three points at Barnsley with a storming second-half display, many expect Roeder to stick with the same personnel ? Ched Evans apart; the Manchester City loan starlet is cup-tied after missing the 1-1 draw with the Shakers at Carrow Road.
But with the games now coming thick and fast the Canary chief may become Tinkerman for the night, although he was keen to stress that progression in the FA Cup is high up on his list of priorities – even if City have to wait for another day after a lunchtime pitch inspection put the tie in doubt.
“We're injury free for the moment, we haven't picked anything up,” said Roeder.
“It's possible we'll be unchanged, apart from Ched – possible but unlikely. I always pick the team that I think will win the game on the night. Whether that's the same team as in previous games then so be it.”
A midweek trip to the North-West is hardly ideal for the Canaries – with a crucial Championship clash with Leicester on the horizon – but Roeder had no complaints with the outcome of the first tie, even if he was sticking to his opinion that City had enough chances to win two games, let alone one.
He'll be looking for his charges to finish the job tonight and book that trip to St Mary's by being ruthless against a managerless side who sit just four places above the trapdoor to non-league football.
The Gigg Lane club are in disarray at the moment and on a dismal run of form in League Two but after the dismissal yesterday of management team Chris Casper and Keith Alexander, this Shakers side may have a bit of extra spark about them.
“I thought Bury gave everything to the cause and they rode their luck when they had to,” Roeder added.
“We missed enough chances to win two games but I've got no complaints about having to go back up there for a replay because overall they deserve a second opportunity.
“I'm looking for a much better performance and they expect a lot better from themselves. We were not cohesive at all when I watched the replay of the game.
“If we had scored in that opening 47 seconds when Chris Martin missed an open goal perhaps things would have been different.
“We then became very negative and started passing the ball backwards too easily. We didn't take enough responsibility.
“But we've got a great opportunity still to get into the fourth round and set up a very attractive tie against Southampton.”
It has been fashionable in recent years to give fringe players a chance in the Cup with stakes so high in league football but Roeder admitted he fancies a run in the world's most famous competition.
If Manchester United can chase honours on more than one front, so can Norwich City. With so many Premier League teams falling at the first hurdle, a long overdue Cup run could be on the cards.
And if City continue to claw their way to safety in the Championship, a quarter-final or semi-final appearance would be a huge pick-me-up for Canary supporters after such a depressing start to the season.
“I would like to go as far as we can,” the former Newcastle boss revealed.
“It would be good publicity for the club and the players. It would be good for morale, good for the tills, and I can't see anything negative about having a run in the FA Cup.”
Out to impress a potential incoming manager, the struggling Shakers will put City under pressure, make no mistake about that, and the Norwich boss has called on his players to not let their guard slip.
One mistake, or lapse in concentration and they could be dumped out in an embarrassing Cup shock. Stranger things have happened you know?this is why the FA Cup holds such a unique, worldwide appeal.
“We've got to go out and play like the home side away from home like we have been doing recently.
“What I have said to the players is that whenever there is a cup shock, nine times out of 10 it is achieved from a set play. It is about the only time the abilities of teams can get very close to being the same.
“One good delivery, one bit of poor concentration and you lose a goal. The players were warned about that on Friday, they were warned before kick-off and the goal we lost was from a set-play.
“We've got to make sure we don't give silly free-kicks away so they can reach our penalty box. If we do that then we have go to make sure we get to the ball first.”
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