Perfect timing for Norwich City to prolong Ipswich Town’s agony

Lewis Grabban heads Norwich City's match-winner to sink Ipswich Town at Portman Road. 
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Lewis Grabban heads Norwich City's match-winner to sink Ipswich Town at Portman Road. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Monday, August 25, 2014
8:15 AM

Norwich City’s sense of timing matched the sense of occasion at Portman Road.

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Fast starters

Norwich City have now scored first in their last 10 visits to Portman Road

1998-99: Craig Bellamy (won 1-0)

1999-2000: Iwan Roberts (won 2-0)

2002-03: Malky Mackay (drew 1-1)

2003-04: Leon McKenzie (won 2-0)

2005-06: Darren Huckerby (won 1-0)

2006-07: Luke Chadwick (lost 1-3)

2007-08: Ched Evans (lost 1-2)

2008-09: David Mooney (lost 2-3)

2010-11: Andrew Surman (won 5-1)

2014-15: Lewis Grabban (won 1-0)

• Statistics courtesy of David Cuffley

You would arguably have to travel far beyond the club’s recent Premier League episode for such an uplifting week. In less than seven days Neil Adams secured his first win as manager at Carrow Road, then followed that up with a thrilling comeback to sink Blackburn in a display that revived memories of when City routinely wore down opponents through sheer willpower, before a first away win of his tenure brought the added bonus of maintaining regional dominance at the expense of a limited Ipswich outfit.

City’s opening weekend league defeat at Wolves raised more questions than answers but the intervening evidence has proved compelling. Adams stressed definitive conclusions were premature following those 90 minutes at Molineux, which turned on Martin Olsson’s dismissal; that assessment now given credence as much by Wolves’ impressive start to life back at this level which includes wins over all three relegated Premier League sides as much as City’s own reaction.

So in that same spirit, expect no-one inside the City camp to run away with the notion three Championship wins on the spin and another day to savour at the expense of their bitter rivals means Norwich will be unstoppable in the second tier.

The road ahead remains arduous, the pitfalls obvious given the heavy workload on Adams’ squad and the inevitable downside from the irrefutable fact City are emerging as one of the strongest in the pack. That merely hardens the resolve of the rest of the division to upset the odds, to strive to level the playing field.

Ipswich’s formula was honest toil and endeavour. David McGoldrick and Daryl Murphy are totemic figures up front who the Blues strive to hit at the earliest opportunity before shovelling balls into wide channels and cramming the opposition penalty box.

Just like at Wolves, Norwich were bombarded during phases of the battle, but at Portman Road they demonstrated their versatility.

Adams has an enviable richness of resources for all seasons. This City squad can deliver the knockout blows as well as feint and counter-punch. If teams want to try and match them for creativity and attacking thrust, like Blackburn tried particularly in a breathless opening salvo at Carrow Road, they will respond. For those who prefer different, less-refined methods steeped in physicality, they appear to have acquired an antidote.

Michael Turner was inspirational at the heart of a defence which overcame the early injury absence of Ryan Bennett to erect a sturdy barrier in front of John Ruddy that was only sporadically breached.

Murphy’s far post header five minutes after the interval when he isolated Javier Garrido should have brought Town level, but that was a poor return from the hosts and the prolonged silence from those home fans as City powered away on numerous penetrative counters was telling.

That fire and intensity never remotely threatened to overwhelm the composed visitors. The noise swirling around Portman Road was loudest in away areas.

Those 2,000 in attendance visibly saw once again a collective growing under Adams’ astute leadership. The symbolism of the celebrations between both parties on the final whistle only served to cement the bond.

City’s support have re-connected with a team playing in a style and with a swagger they crave; not weighed down by constant reminders about the unequal nature of top flight combat and subservience that was too often brutally exposed in the latter phase of the Premier League journey.

Alex Tettey’s integration alongside Bradley Johnson in front of the Norwich backline has injected a greater degree of athletic power in a key area of the field.

City have dominated centrally in the last three Championship tussles and the dividend for the likes of Lewis Grabban and Wes Hoolahan is a fertile ground to create goalscoring opportunities.

Norwich should have added more to their growing collection than Grabban’s cute header following confusion in the Town ranks from Hoolahan’s initial corner directed back into the six-yard box by Tettey.

But if relative failure to convert their derby dominance into greater tangible reward was the only justifiable criticism, then Adams and his players deserve praise rather than castigation.

Norwich will stumble again before the finish but the first four matches of this new season demonstrate they possess strong powers of recovery. They are also streetwise. Adams has sought to equip his squad with the nous and experience so important in the testing phases of a long season.

Gary O’Neil’s introduction in the closing stages at Portman Road disrupted any stirrings of a final home hurrah. Carlos Cuellar and Cameron Jerome were kept in reserve among a substitutes’ roster McCarthy must have cast envious glances towards as he prowled his technical area.

Right now there is more that separates than links these neighbours. But the spoils of derby success pale against the bigger prize.

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45 comments

  • Couldn't quite work out which one you mean in the third example Brew, other than the first and last words seem to be the same thing - what's wrong with a male chicken? - All the ones I know are pretty anständig (note the umlaut). Perhaps it means The Cat Among The (male) Pigeons? But I don't know that pub. Anyway, let me know which one you settle on, and when, and I'll try to fit it into my busy schedule ;-)

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    The Crab

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014

  • Fagen; beer selection in `Pargeters` Pantaloons` is.. just pants these days. I suspect it`s morphing into `The Pargetessers` Pantry`. Suggest `Koenigskopf`, `Eisen Herzog` or `D!ck Katze Brauerei Hahn`. I cannot say `Hahn` in English. Es ist unzuechtig. Can`t do umlauts either! Be great to see some of the usual suspects. I suspect I may have met one in The Coachmaker`s on Saturday. He was an STD, but not a braggart.

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    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014

  • Many Kudos for that, C D. Respect ;-)

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    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014

  • Very noble of you CD. I've always thought of MM as a good manager and I'm sure given time, will steer you towards the PL. You never know, in a year or two with a bit of luck we'll be having these games in the prem. Roll on 28th Feb!

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    Travelling canary

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014

  • I came on here last week brimming with confidence and dishing out some banter. But on the day we lost to the better team... I can see you lot getting back to the Prem based on the strength and quality of the squad you have! Uuuurgh! That is not easy to say! ha ha! Anyway I believe in being a gent in defeat so well done 'Budgies'. See you at yours next year and hopefully we can challenge you a lot more. COYB's

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    C D

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014

  • We seem to have become completely troll-free over the last few days - long may it continue. Bring on Crawley, hope that NA sees the opportunity to give some game time to those who need it. Would be good to see the most recent signings Gary O'Neil, Cameron Jerome and Carlos Cuellar start as well as Loza, Murphy Bros, Surman + Becchio. I wonder where Howson & Bassong are up to now ?

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    Dubai Canary

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014

  • We seem to have become completely troll-free over the last few days - long may it continue. Bring on Crawley, hope that NA sees the opportunity to give some game time to those who need it. Would be good to see the most recent signings Gary O'Neil, Cameron Jerome and Carlos Cuellar start as well as Loza, Murphy Bros, Surman + Becchio. I wonder where Howson & Bassong are up to now ?

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    Dubai Canary

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014

  • Is it safe to put my head above the walls again what with the baguio crisis. You have to hand to someone for 100% stupidity, but I think he has swam downstream. On the subject thanks MB for the final word on it a truly good ally, ps MB Nelsons Revenge ouch! Went to Horsford beer fest yesterday and today still ouch, normal service will be back tomorrow.

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    Bald Canary

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • Two blokes were walking through a cemetery when they happened upon a tombstone that read: "Here lies Jethro Sheepshanks, a good man and an 1p5wich Town fan." So, one of them asked the other: "When the hell did they start putting two people in one grave?"

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    Dubai Canary

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • steely.thank you for your kind invitation.

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    bluelight

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • Meant to add - has anyone read the report on the BBC website? I know I am bias but the summary is so pro binners it is ridiculous. Worst is, I pay a licence fee for that rubbish!

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    Bedford Canary

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • So, having calmed down after the excitement here (for what they are worth) are my views Turner - immense Tettey - awesome (must keep him fit) Grabban - good but needs a better 1st touch Redmond - needs to think before passing shooting Defence - solid but we need some more. There will be more difficult tests Ipswich - an embarrassment to East Anglia! Good to hear about the Fer tweets. What about one from Pilks? BTW can any Ipswich trolls answer this for me..... I heard them singing that we have won FA. Well if they are so f'ing successful why can't they sell more seats?

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    Bedford Canary

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • I met a genie today who granted me one wish. "I want to live forever," I said. "Sorry," said the fairy, "I'm not allowed to grant wishes like that." "OK then," I said, "I want to die the day Ipswich win a derby." "You crafty s*d!" said the genie.....

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    Timbo

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • Blast, had I thought about it, I could have joined you last week Steely. Returned to the Smoke on wednesday after a few days in Norfolk. So near yet so far. C'est la vie

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    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • Bluelight - you sound a bit like a lost soul. Get yourself down to one of our gatherings (if you are in Norwich). Next one hopefully in September. No religion ,only beer, jazz and conversation. A mid week lunchtime. Normally at the Plasterers, off Magdalen St.

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    Steely Dan

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • I've been quite positive since the summer transfers began and still think the Board are doing well to clear out and start again. Looking at our next 10 fixtures, anyone else fear no-one apart from Forest and Cardiff away perhaps? This league is poor and we have a real chance. Long may it continue... OTBC

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    Crazy canary

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • Foul weather - what a bank holiday washout. I bet Dubai wishes he was here. Afternoon spent in QD within spitting distance of the Plasterers - so near yet so far.

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    Steely Dan

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • @Dubai: behave yerself:)

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    el dingo

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • Newsflash : A bloke found dead in the River Orwell had an Ipswich shirt on, suspenders, and a G string. The Police removed the Ipswich shirt to save his family any embarrassment.

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    Dubai Canary

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • Likes his adjectives and the occasional split infinitive , as must his sub-editor , but then they are sports-writers , and here because they cant get a job on the Sun . Positively Homeric in places , " Sturdy walls " and " fertile ground " but sadly no " Wine-dark Orwell " . A very complicated way to say he is glad City are playing football again , with which sentiment I am in complete accord .

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    Bring on Foggo

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • Swiss is spot on re Bennett injury. Trouble is sprains can be agonising and mean a long time out too. Ligaments can take ages to settle. Horrible memories. Hope you're okay Ryan.

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    el dingo

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • I thought it probably was deliberate, dingo ;-) bluelight, me ol` match-selling, steamer-racing blast from the past! Yes it would be good to make your acquaintance at a pub-televised game. I wonder when the next Sky one is? Or do pubs have a way of streaming all games, even though we`re only in the Champ now? Terrific atmosphere in The Coachmakers on Saturday. Terrific beer, too! Nelson had his Revenge on me the next morning. I slurp a bit quick when I get excited about a footy game. I thought Ipswich shot themselves in the foot with their ticket allocation. Could`ve got another 2,500 City fans in there, no problem. Their loss. About £80,000-£90,000 ?

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • Regarding Bennett's ankle injury, if it was broken that would be fairly obvious on an X-ray, but if it is limited to ligament strains or worse then they need to let the swelling go down for a few days before they can get a a clear MRI picture. So, I would assume that it is not broken but it will take a few days before they can make a detailed assessment. That's how I understand it.

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    Swiss Canary

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • brew old buddy,i am wandering lonely as a cloud.i am suffering sever withdrawl symptoms.after 67 years of saturday afternoons at the carra,i have hung up my tatty old scarfe.cant stick those cold 7-45 january kickoffs any more.watched the dipswich game on line,and i have never been so relaxed watching a local derby.we where never in danger.what a load of donkeys,with a cucumber in goal.maybe i"ll watch a game in the pub with you one of these days.otbc

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    bluelight

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • Anybody else think it strange we havent heard anything yet re Bennetts injury? I'm fearing the news is bad and that they are keeping it quiet. Reason being to keep the price down if they have to secure another CH before the window closes. Do hope I'm wrong - we need Bennett.

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    zebbee

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • Slobs old boy was kwite deliberate.

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    el dingo

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • That was a really top level performance + a couple more goals would not have flattered us. I'll settle for the one nil massacre though. Spirit now back in the side, which is a welcome development after 2 years of negativity from the Country Vicar. Looking back @ previous managers we seem to have done better with relative unknowns in charge...Mike Walker, Lambo, Worthy. By contrast Hughton, Rodent + Rioch were all relatively big names + erm........Really confident that NA will carry on the former tradition ! OTBC.

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    Timbo

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • "Paving slobs", el dingo?? Was that today`s deliberate error, or are you buying into Steely Dan`s take on humanity at large? The Cathedral`s not far from his favourite hostilery, the Crass House ;-)

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • I agree with the postings here re the need to put away chances we create. There have been a lot of high scoring games and goal difference could play a part. Can't imagine we would want to loan out Hooper to a Championship rival. He does seem to pick up these niggling injuries though which is a worry.

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    Flying Canary

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • I'm not rising to the bait Brew. However I wouldn't want to ask the guy for directions to the Cathedral. "Walk on the paving slobs of purity towards purgatory, ponder at your place on the periphery. .." Yawn.

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    el dingo

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • el dingo; it`ll take more than a few wins for me to forgive Prolix Paddy his florid effluvia! Shame on you. Infidel dingo ;-)

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • The 4 teams faced are an indication of the quality of the league.I would put all 4 mid-table,perhaps a bit higher.The fact that NCFC has done well against this level of opposition bodes well.as does the fact Adams' team has shown it can come back from being behind.Early signs too that Carra is an intimidating fortress again and an away win for the first time since King Canute cleared Hemsby beach.An excellent start.

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    Peter Watson

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • Check NewsNow re Hooper. Reading want him on loan. Wot???? Sun reckon Soton will have to up the ante for Redmond. More credence in that one imo. As for the prose, well I'm in a good mood. He makes the right points at least.

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    el dingo

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • To be fair to Fer, he did tweet congratulations immediately after the 1p5wich game, even before Holtie. I didn't see anything like that from Fox or Pilks.

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    PaulWho

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • That's why portaloo road only gets 15,000 on most match days serving up hoof ball!The class between the sides was immense in every department.Not only have we got a very strong starting 11 we have a strong bench + others we can count on when needed.Howson and Hooper have to come back also.Times are looking good at CR.

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    tonyb

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • I agree with the comments re Fer. I think in the right team environment he could be a cracking player as he has undoubted ability. Unfortunately, I was never convinced about his attitude and too often he had a tendency to not track his runner and work back. I think there are still issues at QPR regarding team ethos and attitude.

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    Preston Canary

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • TK; do you think Adams will now use the League Cup game to sharpen up Jerome and Cuellar? With Ryan B`s injury, a fully match-fit Cuellar is a must. Perhaps he`ll also give Wes a little rest and let Gary O`Neil out to play a whole game? Any news on Howson & Hooper? Olsson will be available again soon.

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • Looks like Swiss and I were as ships that passed in the night. We agreed without conferring!

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • Yes I also wonder how Leroy feels this morning 2 games nil points and even more worrying from their point of view no goals. Perhaps he should have waited until January to way up his options. Did we miss him at Ips***? I don't think so. I agree with DB more clinical finishing it could have been a rout .

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    Egyptian canary

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • I`m with you there, Dubya. As always ;-) Fer was possibly ill-advised by an agent hungry for a bit of cash flow. It`s a dirty world. NCFC`s apparent resurgence might make them a more attractive destination for potential recruits? Cutty, ref. Divot`s "colourful prose"; it is akin to "the likes of" Stuart Hall on speed. Or acute `Barbara Cartlandery`, ie mostly pink. ;-)

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • A great weekend for Norfolk but still very early days of the new season so little point trying to speculate where we will finish up. Injuries always play a major part and I for one hope that Bennett soon returns to the field. Meanwhile, as long as all fans get behind the team every game, we can all hope for a bright future.

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    TrevorKeith

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • It is a great position to be in and I can sense the feel-good factor returning. This is a team that now has a solid foundation and alternates challenging for a spot. Most importantly, City are creating chances and what needs tightening up is taking them. At the moment there are a lot of fluffed, off-target and under-powered grass-cutters going in, I am sure that this can be fixed. Many of us felt that QPR was a bad option for Leroy but their showing against Spurs was pretty clueless and worse than I expected. He and his agent might be getting a good slice of Tony Fernandes' cash but the fun looks like it will definitely be at Carrow Road.

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    Swiss Canary

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • I wonder how Fer feels this morning ? QPR bottom with zero points after yesterdays 4-0 defeat to Spurs. Ironic if we go up and QPR go down - I wonder if Leroy has a return clause in his contract ? Not sure if joining a 'whipping boy' PL side was the right move.......lets see. In my opinion he should have stayed with us until January and then weighted-up his options !

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    Dubai Canary

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • The widening gulf between Norwich City and our Suffolk neighbours was somewhat brutally exposed on Saturday, and perhaps only a lack of quality finishing prevented it from becoming a rout. Anyway, three wins in a week, 9 points that brought City into the top three in the table concludes a great week for City. Long may it continue, it is going to be a tough call to achieve immediate promotion, but City & NA will be well pleased with what has been achieved since the early set back at Wolves. We must use the last few days of the transfer window well as we will need strength and cover in all positions this season. OTBC

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    Dubai Canary

    Monday, August 25, 2014

  • Got the Bank Holiday joys Paddy? Your description of Grab's 'cute' header will earn him some dressing room stick. Enjoyed the rest of your colourful prose.

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    cutty

    Monday, August 25, 2014

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