Players ready for the call as Norwich City prepare for their League Cup opener

Lewis Grabban (left) celebrates with Kyle Lafferty and Nathan Redmond at Portman Road. Lewis Grabban (left) celebrates with Kyle Lafferty and Nathan Redmond at Portman Road.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014
9:19 AM

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.

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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.”

Follow Michael Bailey on Twitter @michaeljbailey

13 comments

  • Looking forward to tonight. I expect a well balanced if maybe younger team with sufficient back up on the bench should things go awry (not that I believe they will). OTBC

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    ToxicGasWarningSystem

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014

  • Good occasion to debut the new boys and see how they do , and maybe rest a few of the " first " team on the subs bench tonight for Saturday's game . City should walk this one tonight , but Crawley will definitely be here in Giant-killing mode and playing at 110% so we cant ease off too far or it'll be humiliation time ( again ) Still , we have a nice day for it after yesterdays rain , so it should be a pleasant evening . Hopefully .

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    Bring on Foggo

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014

  • He's not at the top of his game at the moment is he Jimhow? I would definitely give Dec the cup games as he needs to play. JR is doing really well at the moment but we need to keep Dec up to speed in case something happens to JR, like it did before.

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    Swiss Canary

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014

  • It's been a very frustrating time in the cups for so long. I'd go with a pretty strong setup, bringing in the new 3 boys to start plus Rudd for Ruddy but with a strong bench if necessary.

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    DJ_FRAMBOISE

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014

  • Swiss from what ive seen of Whittaker this season I would rather he turn out for Crawley...playing for them.

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    Jimhow

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014

  • Oopps Forgot about O'Neil brew. Yes play him if Howson not ready, if hooper not available give becchio a run out, I always wanted to see him get more chances but after watching him jog around and achieve nothing during the dereham game, maybe it shows why hes always on the bench. However if he doesnt get game time he wont ever find his fitness and get back his will to play.

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    Jimhow

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014

  • Perhaps Bassong will turn out for Crawley. On balance I would play Whittaker in this rather than Russ, along with O'Neil and Jerome and Becchio up front.

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    Swiss Canary

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014

  • No chance Bassong will play. He's in the bomb squad, similar to Wolves' of Doyle, O'Hara and Johnson etc.

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    Colin

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014

  • I'm keen to see Gafaiti get a game. I haven't seen him yet, but apparently he's quite useful. I don't think he's out on loan is he? Failing that, I think Bassong will play rather than Turner. Can't afford another injury. Likewise I would prefer to see Becchio get a game than risk an injury to Grabban. He still hasn't had much chance to prove himself at City, and a cup run would be a good start.I was impressed with Surman in pre-season and reckon he should play tonight.

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    MikelSA

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014

  • I think Howson and Hooper are both out of contention, JimH. A bit of genuine `resting` might be wise for Wes & Laffs. Ideal chance to get O`Neil & Jerome tuned up. Nobody has mentioned the GK position yet, but will NA give Declan a game? None of those changes should be seen as weakening the team. Rudd; - Martin, Turner, Cuellar, Garrido. - Tettey, Johnson. - Josh Murphy, O`Neil. - Jerome, Grabban. Subs: Bunn, Whittaker, Hoolahan, E. Bennett, Redmond, Loza... Surs for the South Coast? Whither Becchio?? We are short of defenders but at least Olsson`s back soon and hopefully RB`s injury is not too serious. Fingers crossed there.

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    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014

  • Surely a fantastic opportunity for those yet to taste 1st team action .......... our 'other' squad players as opposed to 'fringe' players .......... 1 club, 1 squad, no outsiders - all in it together !

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    nevermindthedanger

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014

  • Have been frustrated before when we play a weaker side but Id like to see a host of changes tonight. Carlos, Garrido and Seb at the back, Murphy, E Benno and Howson if fit, Jerome and Hooper, if fit up front and think thats not really a weakened team just keeps people fit and on their toes.

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    Jimhow

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014

  • I really hope we do keep everyone we have in the group (obviously excluding Bunn, Bassong and Becchio (although I'd use Becchio, he's obviously not 'in the group)). If we can then add another central midfielder and a defender (regardless of the extent of Bennett's injury) we'll be looking good.

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    Colin

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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