Iwan Roberts: My Welsh wish for City keeper

Daniel Barden will be in goal for Norwich City's FA Cup third round tie against Coventry City

Daniel Barden will be in goal for Norwich City's FA Cup third round tie against Coventry City - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

I think it’s fair to say Norwich City breezed into the fourth round of the FA cup after essentially beating Coventry within seven minutes of the game starting after a pulsating start from Daniel Farke’s men last Saturday. 

The Mayor scored his first goal in the FA cup since joining Norwich when he calmly slotted the ball past Coventry keeper Ben Wilson with just six minutes gone. It was a very cool finish by Kenny but I have to say what a wonderful defence splitting pass it was to find him completely unmarked by Todd Cantwell. 

We didn’t have to wait long before Norwich’s second. In fact, it was barely 60 seconds when Przemyslaw Placheta raced past his defender and produced a peach of a near post cross which was met by the head of Jordan Hugill, and his glancing header guided the ball to the left-hand corner of Wilson’s goal to double Norwich’s advantage. Even at that early stage you got the feeling it was game over. 

I know there was still a lot of time left in the game but you just couldn’t see a way back for Coventry, and if they had somehow managed to score the next goal I had the feeling the lads had at least a couple of gears to move into. 

Young Dan Barden made his full debut for the club and I was delighted that he kept a clean sheet.  

With that bad injury to Michael McGovern he should now get an opportunity to be Tim Krul’s understudy from now until the end of the season, unless the club feels the need to go out and bring in someone to be Tim’s number two. His performance against Coventry earned him a place in the FA cup team of the weekend and huge congratulations to him for that. 

Dan’s already represented Wales at U19 level and I’m sure he’ll know Tony Roberts the Welsh goalkeeping coach well from his youth days at Arsenal as Tony worked with the Arsenal academy for a few years. 

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If Dan keeps working hard, listening to his coaches and learning from Krul he could become a top-class goalkeeper.  

His size and stature are perfect for the modern-day goalie. Sadly for him this year’s Euros have come slightly too early as with Wales’ number one Wayne Hennessey out injured for a lengthy period and other Welsh goalkeepers not playing regular football at their clubs, that number one Welsh jersey at the minute is up for grabs. 

Speaking of Wales, Norwich travel to its capital for tomorrow’s game against Cardiff with all the pressure on the Bluebirds manager Neil Harris with his team having lost four consecutive games. I like Neil, he’s a really good bloke. I spent a brief period of time with him at my last club Gillingham and I got on well with him. 

He did a terrific job last season guiding the club to fifth and they were unlucky to lose to Fulham in the play-offs. He was in charge for 32 league game last season and lost only seven of those, but this season it’s just not happened for them even though they strengthened the attacking side of the team. 

They’ve already lost two more games this season than they did last and are 15th in the Championship, eight points behind Watford who occupy the final play-off spot.  

Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman went public at the start of the season when he came out and said he expected the club to be at the very least in the top six come January, and that’s why he’s walking a tightrope right now. 

I think he’s got two games to save his job and they are both at the Cardiff City Stadium, Norwich tomorrow and QPR on Wednesday night. His team has got to take a minimum of four points from these two games and they don’t come any harder than tomorrow’s fixture against the table-topping Canaries, who have lost just two of their last 19 games, with both those losses having come away from home. 

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