Wes Hoolahan and Norwich City caused Stoke plenty of attacking problems, according to Ryan Shawcross
18:04 09 March 2014
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Arguably there isn’t one single issue for Norwich City to deal with at the moment – but scoring goals has been a long-running theme. Arguably it made life difficult again on Saturday.
Potters centre-back Ryan Shawcross had 90 minutes to work out from close quarters whether the Canaries’ huffing and puffing was an issue – and as far as he was concerned, it wasn’t the easiest task keeping Norwich at bay.
“I think anyone in the bottom half of the table has struggled to score goals – that’s why they are there,” said Shawcross. “They looked lively enough. (Wes) Hoolahan was a challenge because he gets in the space where you never want to go. And they brought on some international players at the end of the game.
“So they’ve got some good strikers. It’s just not going in the back of the net for them.”
Shawcross’ Hoolahan name-check raised the question whether things were a little more comfortable once the Irishman departed the scene with City still 1-0 ahead.
“They went a bit more direct when Hoolahan went off, with two up front – but it’s always a challenge this place, so whoever was playing up front it was always going to be difficult,” was Shawcross’ non-committal response.
Aside from Norwich’s woes, there was no hiding Stoke’s enjoyment at getting themselves back in the game and then holding on for a point following Jon Walters’ dismissal.
“We’re staying hard to beat, which especially when you come to tough places like this where they would have been desperate for three points – for us to come away with one, we’re delighted,” he added.
“Jon apologised. He knew he caught the lad so it’s just one of those things. He had the joy of scoring and then the disappointment of the sending off.
“We’re not really looking at how many points we need for safety. We want to finish in the top 10 and we’ve got to believe that we can.”