December 5 2013 Latest news:
Sunday, August 18, 2013
Steven Whittaker would have been a frustrated man for most of his first 12 months at Carrow Road – but the pay back started early this term.
The ex-Rangers full-back has looked a useful addition for Chris Hughton every time he featured following last summer’s move from Glasgow to Norfolk. The only problem was how often injury prevented him doing just that – only 13 league appearances were possible in 2012-13 after a lengthy pre-season injury set the tone early.
So fingers will be crossed that Saturday’s opening efforts against Everton are a sign of a more fruitful season to come.
Whittaker’s tremendous solo opening goal and more fortuitous assist to City’s already important equaliser were both welcome and necessary to ensure the home fans’ good mood continued into a second weekend. His 51st minute goal brought easy comparisons with his marauding run and finish at Swansea last season, as the right-back bombed on from inside the City half and while his initial sweet finish only found the inside of Tim Howard’s far post, Whittaker was bright enough to finish the job.
“It would’ve been nice for the first one to drop in – I thought it was going to,” he smiled. “I was wheeling away to celebrate but luckily it came back across the goal, and then it was a case of concentration and getting it in the goal.
“As I said, I’d have liked the first one to drop in. It might have been a bit more special. But I’ll take it as a one-two off the post.
“I don’t suppose as a defender you ever think you’re going to get on to the score sheet. But I try to join in when I can, get forward and join the play. So it was nice to get forward in those areas and I got a bit lucky with a ricochet that went in my favour. But once I was in there I managed to put it into the net.
“I scored 11 in my best season at Rangers and I think I scored nearly 30 goals for Rangers in my time there, so I’m not bad once I get forward and hopefully I can find myself in those areas again this season.”
Chris Hughton’s side found the going tougher against the Toffees following Whittaker’s opener, but recovered to equalise through an excellent Ricky van Wolfswinkel header – even if the striker’s supply line was not quite as good as he thought.
“Ricky said he thought I did mean it – he did, he came in and said good cross, so I had to say nah, I didn’t mean it,” said Whittaker, whose sliced shot turned into the perfect assist. “I tried to obviously get an attempt on goal but it’s dropped over one of the centre-halves and he’s found himself in between the two centre-halves, which is where a striker should be, and it’s a fantastic header. He’s still got a lot to do with that and he’s managed to loop it in.
“We were disappointed with the goals we conceded but having been 2-1 behind and to come back shows a bit of character, and we’re happy with a point in the end.”