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Iwan Roberts: Relief for Norwich City – but what’s this pink paint job all about?

PUBLISHED: 18:21 23 August 2018 | UPDATED: 18:33 23 August 2018

Daniel Farke and Preston boss Alex Neil after the final whistle Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Daniel Farke and Preston boss Alex Neil after the final whistle Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Paul Chesterton

Having lost to a last-minute goal against Sheffield United – thanks to Billy Sharp – the pressure really was on Daniel Farke’s men to win their first game of the season on Wednesday night when former manager Alex Neil bought his Preston team to Carrow Road.

It hadn't been the best of nights for Alex Tettey - until his goal against Preston 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdIt hadn't been the best of nights for Alex Tettey - until his goal against Preston Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Let’s be honest, it was anything but a classic – had the game been played in my back garden I’d have closed the curtains well before the final whistle.

But a win’s a win and hopefully Norwich can kick on now and start climbing the league.

It’s the first time I’ve seen Norwich this season and it doesn’t seem as if too much has changed from their style of play.

I saw the team have lots of possession, lots of sideways and backward passing and even though they’d scored six goals in their previous three games, they hardly created a chance worth talking about until Teemu Pukki’s lovely finish in the 80th minute which gave them a priceless lead.

Alex Tettey had a night to forget and probably one of his worst games in a Norwich shirt – he really shouldn’t have been on the pitch when he scored that absolute stunner of a second goal on 87 minutes. It was a magnificent strike from a player who on the night couldn’t pass to a yellow shirt, whose awareness was non-existent and whose timing in the air was just plain poor. But all was forgotten when he smashed that ball past Declan Rudd to seal a first win of the season.

Right – where do I start on the pink away dressing room and moody lights and motivational music in the home dressing room?

I’m sorry, it might be my age, but I’m not having the pink changing room excuse one bit – I think it makes the club look desperate and the term clutching at straws springs to my mind.

I’m all for trying to get an advantage over you opponents, but to paint a changing room pink because it’s apparently been proven that the colour lowers testosterone levels isn’t something I buy into and by the sound of Farke’s interview on Tuesday, neither does he.

I’ve mentioned before how Leeds used to spray the ceiling in the away changing room with cold water so the opposition would get soaked as soon as they walked in and started to get changed.

I played at Highbury on a couple of occasions and the away changing room there had underfloor heating which would be turned up to its maximum to make it unbearably hot and uncomfortable.

I played against Wimbledon’s notorious Crazy Gang at their old ground, Plough Lane, in the middle of winter and the heating had been turned off so the changing room was freezing cold when we walked in. To make matters worse it hadn’t been cleaned since their last home game and so was in a right old state.

These were all things that were meant to make you feel uncomfortable and to get your mind on anything apart from the game you were about to play and I bet it worked more than once. But there’s nothing uncomfortable about walking into a changing room that’s been painted pink.

In fact, it would make me more determined to go out and win the game because of the very reason it had been painted pink.

It will be interesting on Saturday afternoon when top-of-the-table Leeds come down to Carrow Road to see whether their testosterone levels drop just because, when they walk in to the changing room, they will go all soft because it’s a nice shade of pink!

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