Players ready for the call as Norwich City prepare for their League Cup opener
So after an exhilarating start to life back in the Championship – that opening game at Wolves apart – it’s time for Norwich City to begin the distraction of a cup run.
Whether it’s a welcome distraction or not depends on your view but in recent seasons the Canaries have had some great opportunities to go a long way, only to fall short.
And Tuesday night’s game (7..45pm) with Crawley Town – a home tie against a lower division side – offers a similar chance to get a useful League Cup start. Although, approach the game with those thoughts alone and City will come unstuck. Just like Ipswich did at Broadfield Stadium.
“I’d imagine the manager will make a few changes and if I’m called up then I’ll do a job,” said Michael Turner. “I’m sure it’ll be an opportunity to change the team, but of course we want to win the game and go through.
“Every game you go into, you want to win it. You never know in these cup competitions. You can get a relatively easier draw maybe, and find yourselves nearer the quarter-finals – and maybe then you’ve got a good chance of getting to Wembley. So we’ll see what the manager decides to do. But whoever plays will be obviously gunning to win the game.”
Lewis Grabban – City’s East Anglian derby hero on Saturday – added: “If the gaffer says I’m playing then I’m playing. It’s as simple as that. If he feels I need a rest, then he will give me a rest. If he doesn’t then I’m happy to play.
“As we know, the Championship is a lot of games so it can – and it has for some teams – disturbed their season.
“But I think this group of lads knows any game you put in front of us, we’re going to try to win. So I don’t think it’s going to disturb us.”
And in truth, on recent evidence, it looks like it would take a lot to disturb the Canaries at present. Certainly the togetherness and belief on show at Portman Road over the weekend offered plenty of optimism for a fruitful campaign under manager Neil Adams, whatever the competition.
“It’s been like that since the first day we came back in for pre-season,” said Turner. “The manager sat us down and said last year’s forgotten about, no one talks about it. And we’ve kept the majority of our players from last year. So we’ve got a lot of Premier League players in that dressing room.
“And the togetherness is first class. Everyone’s buzzing from the derby win and recent results, so hopefully we can continue that and take it into the rest of the season.”
How much of that depends on the next six days only hindsight will prove. With the summer transfer window set to close at 11pm on Monday, everyone will be watching to see if any more assets are prized out of Carrow Road.
As for the incomings, you won’t find Lewis Grabban flinching at the sight of Cameron Jerome joining City’s striker ranks. In fact, quite the opposite.
“I’m always a player that says the better the player that comes in, the more competition it creates and it forces you to improve – so I’m happy for any good players to come in,” added Grabban. “I’ve come in and I don’t want to see anyone leave. We’ve got a great set of players and if we lose anyone, it would be disappointing. So fingers crossed we can keep everyone that’s here now and build on that.”
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