In terms of away days, it had everything… terracing, flares, toilet roll, ageing facilities… and was rounded off nicely with a thumping win.
Even with eight changes to the starting eleven Chris Hughton’s men had more than enough in the tank to easily see off a Posh side missing three of its best players.
Whilst the occasion itself lived up to its billing – thanks mainly to the Yellow Army’s magnificent contribution – events on the pitch were more reminiscent of a pre-season friendly. Peterborough manager, Darren Ferguson said as much in his post-match interviews, and struggled to contain his annoyance that his team had taken over an hour to put in a meaningful challenge.
For City’s part it was very much a case of ‘job done’ with it being completed professionally and clinically.
Interestingly TalkSport’s finest, Adrian Durham (aka @talksportDrive) – the deserved target of some Yellow Army banter – decided to continue his Norwich-baiting by tweeting that City were ‘poor’, even in the face of such an emphatic win.
The only slight disappointment is that City didn’t hit six or seven – as the loveable Mr Durham suggested they should have done – but as the cliché suggests… ‘It’s all about being in the hat for the next round’.
As it transpired… the next round afforded City a home tie against Luton Town; currently sixth in the Blue Square Premier Division (the Conference to you and I), but a club rich in Football League and Cup history.
Some of the fringe players did themselves no harm and will certainly have given Hughton some food for thought. In particular David Fox, Elliott Bennett and Simeon Jackson gave the boss a gentle reminder of their qualities, with Bennett adding a different dimension to the no. 10 role.
Down the left side the King of Spain and Marc Tierney both did what they do best… turn in a steady, reliable performance that tells the manager that they’ll both ‘do a job’ when called upon.
At the back, the central defensive combination of Leon Barnett and Ryan Bennett will be unlikely to have an easier afternoon until next pre-season, with venues like Aldiss Park and Crown Meadow providing sterner tests.
In fairness Posh were not helped by having no out and out strikers at their disposal, with Ferguson having to select a midfield player to lead the line.
With events on the pitch pretty much taking care of themselves, it was left to the Yellow Army to turn the afternoon into a retro sing-along, with little help from a dejected home support. Again we failed to escape the wrath of @talksportDrive, who accused us of singing On the Ball City too much…
Honestly… you couldn’t make it up.
So… all in all, a successful afternoon and a potential banana-skin out of the way, meaning that attention now returns – for a few days at least – to the feeding frenzy of the January transfer window.
With the quest to land Senegalese striker, Ibrahima Toure appearing to have cooled – work permit issues being rumoured to be an issue – all eyes seem to be heading north of the border.
Whether the Canaries have the sufficient allure and financial clout to land the striking talents of Celtic’s Gary Hooper remains to be seen, but the suggestion is it that Hughton and McNally – despite the straight bat played in the post-match interview – have at the very least tested the Celtic water.
Throw the prospect of Champions League knock-out football into the mix and one suspects that Hooper will be looking to see out the season in the green and white hoops. With the sums being talked about likely to break Carrow Road records this looks to be a deal that falls in the possible category rather than the probable one
Another rumour that has lost momentum over the last few days is that of Swansea’s Danny Graham. With City being one of several clubs rumoured to be interested, the question of whether Michael Laudrup would be prepared to sell is a moot one. Whilst Michu has clearly edged Graham out of the current Swans starting XI, Laudrup would clearly be unwilling to sell without securing a replacement.
That Graham would fit the bill is not in doubt, but this particular deal – if it indeed has legs – has an awful long way to go before it becomes a bone fide ‘ Sky Sports understands…’ moment.
The one thing we do know is that in the ensuing days and weeks, City will be linked with dozens of names – some realistic, some not . However, with Alan Bowkett and McNally’s penchant for doing their business privately and clinically there’s every chance we’ll know as soon as anyone if/when a deal has been done.
Watch this space.