Brighton defender Tommy Elphick has hinted that Albion will be another tough nut to crack at Carrow Road tonight, as the Canaries look to close the gap on second placed Charlton.
City’s last two home matches in League One have seen the visitors adopt a ‘park the bus in front of goal’ attitude in an attempt to steal a point or three from their visit to Norfolk.
According to Elphick, Gus Poyet’s side will be no different and patience will most certainly be needed in the stands and on the pitch. After Saturday’s 3-0 reverse at home to Leeds, Albion will more than keen to keep things tight.
“We have got to learn from Saturday but put it to the back of our minds. We had only won once in ten games and then we put two together but we’ve had a little setback and it’s time to dust ourselves down,” he told the Brighton Evening Argus.
“We’ve got a massive game [at Norwich] now and it is the type of game where we will go there and hopefully cause an upset. The Southampton game away from home [where they won 3-1] is the type in which Brighton have caused an upset down the years and Tuesday will hopefully be no different.
“We’ll set our stall out early. We’ll probably have to soak up a lot of pressure at times and be disciplined and with the boys we have got up front we can hopefully nick a win.”
Under new chief Poyet, the Seagulls made an immediate improvement, but after the weekend thumping, doom and gloom has set in again amongst some of the Albion faithful. They do, after all, sit just one place above the relegation zone.
Elphick, however, insists that there is plenty of time left for the Uruguayan to stamp his mark on the Sussex club – starting tonight against Paul Lambert’s in-form Norwich.
“The games are coming thick and fast and we can’t be going around getting on each other’s backs and panicking, because we have got a lot of games to put things right. There is still a long way to go.
“It is a long process. We put two wins together and maybe everyone thought we were going to turn Leeds over but we have still got a bit of work to do. I am sure we will get there.”
In team news, on-loan Arsenal man Gavin Hoyte is poised to be recalled after regular right-back Andrew Whing showed signs of fatigue in the Leeds defeat. Elsewhere, ‘keeper Michael Kuipers is still missing with a groin injury, with Liam Dickinson – linked with a summer move to Norfolk – likely to be out with a thigh strain.
“Gavin Hoyte is an option as at the moment, we have only Andrew Whing as a right-back. He has been out for a while and has then had to play three games in a week and I know that was very difficult for him.”
Poyet has, however, vowed to stick with his current group despite being brushed aside at the weekend. To be fair to the former Chelsea legend, not many teams will get much change when United come to town this season.
“I am not the kind who, because we have lost one game, will make four changes. It is very easy to remember the victories and it is difficult sometimes to accept when you lose.
“But that’s football; even the top teams lose sometimes. There’s no panic, we’ll keep improving. I cannot ask for more, the players have been spot on.”
Remember that if you cannot make the trip to Carrow Road this evening, you can follow all the action via yours truly on MFW. And if you’re feeling brave, join in the conversation – just add #ncfc to your message on Twitter.