December 6 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Cup success can go hand in hand with making progress in the Premier League, according to former Norwich City striker Dion Dublin.
As Chris Hughton’s Canaries prepare to face his former club, Tottenham Hotspur, in the Capital One Cup fourth round at Carrow Road tomorrow (7.45pm), Dublin said he saw no reason why pursuing the dream of a Wembley final appearance should prove a hindrance to the league programme.
“It should be important to clubs. Some see it as important, some don’t,” he said.
“In my time growing up, what was the League Cup and is now the Capital One Cup, it was still important to get as close as you can to silverware, so my recollection of the teams I played in is ‘Let’s see if we can win this’.
“I don’t see how a good cup run can actually hinder any football club or squad at all, unless you’ve got only 11 players.
“Then you might have a bit of a problem, but Premier League sides and most professional sides will have 16 or 17 players who can play first team football. I can’t see the negative side to it all.”
Dublin played for six different clubs in the League Cup in its various guises, scoring 20 goals in 47 matches, and the 43-year-old is now an ambassador for the competition.
But he never quite made it to the final, narrowly missing out as one of the Aston Villa side beaten 5-4 on aggregate by Bolton in the last four in 2004.
He said: “The closest I got was the semi-final with Villa. I’m very fortunate that I played for so long and I played in many of these games, so it’s just doing your utmost in whatever competition you’re playing in.
“I was in squads of players that always wanted to win the League Cup. It’s a good chance of getting in European football as well.”
Dublin said one more win for the Canaries and supporters might begin to dream of a day out at Wembley.
“It’s the time now where if they can just get over this huge hurdle of Tottenham they’ve got a sneaky chance of doing well,” he said.
“Looking at the fixtures, one of Chelsea and Manchester United will be going out, Liverpool are there and Arsenal are there, but at least one of the big teams are going to be out at the end of the week.
“So it’s a chance for them to move forward. It will be really difficult to do it against Spurs but if they can get over this hurdle they may have a chance of drawing a smaller stature club later on.
“Everybody thinks to themselves this could be our year. It’s the last 16. All you have to do is beat what’s in front of you.”
City’s 1-1 Premier League draw at White Hart Lane in September and their 2-1 win last season proved they can cause problems for Spurs.
“It will give them confidence,” said Dublin. “Chris is 100 pc right to say they are the underdogs, the squad of players isn’t as good as Tottenham’s, the club isn’t as big and Tottenham are a better side. It’s as simple as that. It won’t mean Norwich don’t have just as much chance of beating them. They do.”
Much will depend on the selections made by Hughton and Spurs boss André Villas-Boas after their weekend Premier League games, but Dublin is not convinced Harry Redknapp’s successor has won over his squad just yet.
“Harry was very much a players’ manager. There was very much a togetherness,” he said.
“AVB is very different. He likes his staff to do that for him and probably doesn’t have the interaction, eyeball to eyeball, that Harry would have with his players, which I think players like. But Harry still got the respect.
“AVB will be doing things very differently but has he got the character and experience to deal with the seniors at Spurs? Only time will tell.”
• Dion Dublin was speaking to David Cuffley on behalf of Capital One, the credit card company and sponsors of the League Cup. Visit facebook.com/capitaloneuk