It’s West Brom here we come again for Norwich City
PUBLISHED: 14:02 09 January 2012
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Norwich City face two trips to The Hawthorns before the end of January after being drawn away to West Bromwich Albion in the FA Cup fourth round.
Their reward for their 4-1 home win over Burnley on Saturday is an away tie against Albion on the weekend of January 28 and 29.
It makes for a tough few days on the road as the game falls shortly before their televised Premier League trip to Sunderland on the evening of Tuesday, January 31.
City are already travelling to West Bromwich next Saturday in the Premier League, looking to avenge their 1-0 defeat at Carrow Road in September.
“It will be a tough tie, that one,” said manager Paul Lambert. “You always hope for a home draw but on this occasion it wasn’t to be and now we have a couple of games away to West Brom in a short space of time.”
Lambert told the club’s official website: “It certainly makes it interesting to be playing the games so close together and we’ll be doing our utmost to try and get something from both of them, that’s for sure. West Brom are a good side and we’re playing well at the minute so I think they will both hopefully be good games for the fans.”
The Canaries, who are in round four for only the third time in 15 years, have had three previous FA Cup meetings with Albion, all away from home. They lost all three without scoring a goal – 1-0 in the second round in 1907, 3-0 in the third round in 1969 when West Brom were the FA Cup holders, and 1-0 in the fifth round 1982 when Cyrille Regis scored his famous Goal of the Season.
Lambert, meanwhile, was pleased to get a convincing cup-tie victory under his belt as the Canaries swept aside Burnley, erasing the memory of a 4-0 Carling Cup home defeat by MK Dons back in August.
“The team against MK Dons was really strong and we got turned over, but today we were very, very good right from the off,” he said. “We played some very, very good football. Bear in mind we had two really tough games against Burnley last season but I thought we dominated the game.
“We played at a high tempo, as we always try to do, and we deserved to go through.
“I’m under no illusions that the Premier League is the one everyone wants to stay in. But you don’t take the Cup competition lightly. It’s a world-renowned competition we want to try do well in.”
Goalkeeper John Ruddy was absent after the birth of his second child on Friday, giving Declan Rudd another FA Cup outing and Jed Steer a place on the bench for the first time this season.
“I never had any problem throwing Dec in. He’s never let me down, and Jed’s an able deputy,” said Lambert.
“It might have come into my head that we might have put Declan in, but John being at the hospital with his wife, it’s been a long two days for him, so it was an easy decision.”
Lambert also praised the performance of defender Daniel Ayala, making only his fifth senior appearance for the club against Burnley.
“He’s brilliant, 21 years of age, and he’s slotted in seamlessly as if he’s been here for years and years. I’m delighted with Dani,” said Lambert.
“It’s great for him that he gets first team football and gets used to playing in front of big crowds.
“I think Zak Whitbread’s quality is there for everybody to see and I think Dani and him seem to play very well together.”
As he looks to strengthen his squad, however, Lambert admitted to being disappointed at the lack of new arrivals in the first week of the January transfer window.
Asked if he was making progress, he said: “I don’t know, I really don’t. It is frustrating, absolutely. I know who I want but we can only do what we can do.
“I can’t bring people to the club who I think will just be a squad players. You want people to come in and improve it, to give the lads a hand. That’s the frustrating thing, but I’m sure that’s frustrating for every team.”
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