Man-of-the-moment Jonny Howson admitted that the quick turnaround in Easter fixtures will test the City squad, as Paul Lambert’s men prepare to face Champions League hopefuls Tottenham tomorrow.
The Canaries put their heart and soul into yesterday’s 2-2 Carrow Road draw with Everton and to then go again two days later, at the home of Harry Redknapp’s Spurs, will be a tough ask.
But you just know that this Norwich outfit are made of sterner stuff. They just keep going and going. And going.
“It’s obviously going to be tough on the legs but it’s part and parcel of it,” said Howson, speaking to BBC Radio Norfolk after yesterday’s game.
“We’ll recover on Sunday and go again on Monday against a very good side. We’ll go there and give it everything like we did against Everton.”
Spurs go into tomorrow’s White Hart Lane clash on the back of a 0-0 stalemate at Sunderland and with North London rivals Arsenal beating Man City this afternoon, meaning they are two points ahead in the race for third, midfielder Scott Parker admits it is a ‘must-win’ game.
“It was a strange game [at Sunderland],” said Parker, speaking to the club’s official website. “It surprised us, they sat in behind the ball and we didn’t expect that.
“It was a slow tempo game, we dominated possession and probably would have liked to think that we could have nicked a goal, but it wasn’t to be, so there is that disappointment.
“The quick turnaround will have a bit of an effect, there’s not too much time to recover, but it’s a game we have to win. We’ll be looking for the three points and to keep that momentum going.”
Spurs chief Redknapp was also disappointed to make the long trip back from the North East with only a point for their troubles. And he too will be targeting tomorrow’s clash with City as a big chance to keep the pressure on the Gunners.
“It’s always a tough place to come – and Sunderland have been in good form – but it was a game I felt we could have won.
“They were difficult to break down and looked to hit us on the counter-attack. They sat in and there was no space behind them. In the end it’s a Catch 22 situation. You go for it, open up and then you can get caught on the counter-attack.
“I came in at half-time and thought I’d be disappointed if we didn’t win. But a point’s a point and that’s two tough away games, Chelsea and Sunderland, two clean sheets and we’ve played well enough.
“You have to keep picking up points away from home and winning home games, that’s the key. nWe could have taken three points but if you play away from home and don’t get beaten, you are never that disappointed.”
In team news, Tottenham star Gareth Bale is facing a race to be fit for tomorrow’s showdown after sustaining a knock late on in the goalless draw at the Stadium of Light.
Bale was the victim of a robust challenge by Black Cats midfielder Craig Gardner which left him nursing a sore ankle. And boss Redknapp may decide not to risk the Welsh superstar, vowing to freshen up the Spurs side for their second game in three days.
Aaron Lennon and Jermain Defoe could both start and Ledley King is back from a knee injury.
For the visitors, Lambert is sure to chop and change, as he has done all season, with a number of reliable performers waiting in the wings.
Anthony Pilkington could start after missing out at the weekend and the likes of Simeon Jackson, Andrew Crofts, Bradley Johnson and Aaron Wilbraham will all be hoping to be promoted to the starting XI. There will be a late decision made on defender Zak Whitbread, who is suffering with a slight calf complaint.
Kyle Naughton is ineligible under the terms of his loan deal from Spurs and Marc Tierney (groin), Daniel Ayala (knee) and James Vaughan (knee) are all still sidelined.