Everton full-back Seamus Coleman is hoping that City’s swash-buckling, attacking style will come back to haunt them at Goodison Park on Saturday as the Canaries prepare for two, big away days in the space of four sapping days.
For hard on the heels of this weekend’s long trip to Merseyside comes a rare Tuesday night outing away at Wolves.
Everton currently sit 12th; Wolves are in a rather more uncomfortable 17th. Both clubs would see the visit of the newly-promoted Norfolk side as one of their ‘banker’ home games – or, at least, would have done in August.
Five months later and both sides will approach the visit of Paul Lambert’s men with a far greater level of wariness.
Norwich are tenth for good reason; they score goals.
Everton have just 15 Premier League goals to their name this season; Wolves are one better off with 16. Norwich have 24 to their name – four more arriving in last weekend’s thrilling 4-2 win over Newcastle United.
For Coleman, City’s determination to enter every game on the front foot could offer the kind of space in behind that Everton might look to exploit.
Particularly if Lambert opts to stick with Steve Morison and Grant Holt up front with Wes Hoolahan in that little hole behind; that – in Coleman’s eyes – might offer the chance of someone leaving the back door banging wide open.
“If a team goes for it, then there are always going to be chances with spaces being left at the back,” the 23-year-old told the Liverpool Echo this week.
“In these games you have to break these teams down and we will be hoping to do that.”
From City’s perspective the trick is to cut out those lapses of concentration that – at this level – costs you so, so dear. Do not, for example, get caught in possession on the half-way line if you are a centre-half. Zak Whitbread’s error against Newcastle was all-but a carbon copy of Russell Martin’s slip-up against Arsenal.
If the Canaries can learn from such mistakes – individually and collectively – then the hope has to remain that they can avoid following a similar fate as Blackpool last season. Foothold achieved in the autumn, come the spring and they could not buy a win.
Coleman knows all about Blackpool and the way that Ian Holloway set up his side – he spent part of their promotion season out of The Championship on loan at Bloomfield Road.
He sees similarities in not just Norwich’s approach, but equally that of QPR and Swansea. None of the three new-boys shut up shop and look to nick something; all three try to play open, expansive football. And to entertain in the process.
“A couple of teams may look at the way Blackpool approached the Premier League and take inspiration from that. They took a view that if the other teams score two we will try and score three,” said Coleman, echoing the thoughts of City midfielder David Fox post-Newcastle – that the Canaries always look to put their best foot forward under Lambert’s charge.
“The teams that have come up this season haven’t really sat back, they have gone for the wins. And maybe Blackpool have given them the inspiration to do that,” Coleman told the paper.
He certainly appears to have taken note of Norwich; the Canaries have, rightly, earned people’s respect in the manner that they have adapted to their new surroundings.
Some 15 games in to any season and clubs are where they are for a good reason; it is no fluke that Norwich have 19 points on the board. They are a good side, with decent players playing to their Premier League potential.
“I’ve seen a bit of Norwich and I think they’ve done great since they came up,” said Coleman.
“They’ve taken it in their stride and are playing the way they did last season, which is good to see. It definitely won’t be an easy game, it will be tough but we will be hoping to win.”