'I thought Norwich, to a man, were terrific' – FA Cup draw with Chelsea impresses former City striker Sutton
PUBLISHED: 14:28 07 January 2018 | UPDATED: 15:01 07 January 2018
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Former Canaries striker Chris Sutton has questioned Norwich City not playing a recognised striker against Chelsea but praised the ‘terrific’ FA Cup efforts of Daniel Farke’s players.
The outspoken pundit was part of BT Sport’s team for the televised third round tie at Carrow Road, having played for both City and Chelsea during his career, and was impressed with the home side’s performance to draw 0-0 and earn a replay.
However, a front three made up of attacking midfielders Josh Murphy, Alex Pritchard and James Maddison made for limited clear-cut chances despite some excellent general play, with an ankle knock forcing Nelson Oliveira to only feature as a late substitute and Cameron Jerome missing out with a back problem.
“I thought Norwich, to a man, were terrific,” said Sutton.” I thought they defended really strongly, the only tinge of disappointment, was this their chance to knock Chelsea out? It will be tougher at Stamford Bridge. Norwich played very well, they lacked the centre forward.”
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He continued: “The biggest compliment we can pay this Norwich defence is that Chelsea didn’t really have a clear-cut chance.
“I like Angus Gunn as a goalkeeper but he didn’t really have a lot to do, they were protected ever so well in front by (Alex) Tettey and (Tom) Trybull. They defended deep, as you’d expect, not a great deal of pace with those three centre-halves but they kept their shape, they got their distances right and they were comfortable. (Michy) Batshuayi had a disappointing game from Chelsea’s point of view but you have to credit Norwich for the commitment they defended with and the organisation.”
The man City sold to Blackburn for a then British record fee of £5million back in 1994 hopes the Canaries can kick on in the Championship.
“It was a big result for Norwich in terms of confidence,” Sutton added. “The performances this season in the Championship, let’s get it right, haven’t been good enough. They’ve struggled and I think a lot of fans are disappointed with their position but they can take a lot of heart from the way they’ve defended.”
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As a man who knows all about what it’s like to be sold by Norwich, the former Celtic forward is expecting Alex Pritchard to be sold this month, following interest from Premier League side Huddersfield Town.
“It’s how much, it’s always how much at Norwich and they’re going to be tested,” the 44-year-old continued. “With the riches that are in the Premier League they will do well to hold on to Pritchard.
“They say they don’t have to sell but it’ll be interesting how this one pans out. A big offer comes in and they will sell, they always have done.”