Norwich City remain a work in progress but there was some positive signs in the majestic surroundings of Celtic Park that Chris Hughton is beginning to leave his mark on this Canaries’ squad.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

City improved markedly from their opening stroll against Hertha Berlin in a competitive work out against the Champions League hopefuls – capped by Grant Holt’s opening goal of the new campaign in the final seconds.

James Vaughan again impressed after his two-goal burst against the Germans with City looking slick at times on the counter and solid in defence. Jonny Howson was deployed in a lone defensive midfield role after the interval to allow Andrew Surman and Wes Hoolahan to combine in a creative central midfield pairing that hinted at plenty of future promise. Howson was even able to leave his post for the game’s decisive act in the final minute of normal time when Fraser Forster could only block his drive to the feet of former team mate Holt who rifled home from close range.

Steven Whittaker’s early injury withdrawal was one of the few lows on a night when Hughton again opted to utilise the depth of his playing resources. Steve Morison made his first appearance of the pre-season campaign after sitting out the Austrian friendly with an ankle problem. Whittaker also started on his first return to Glasgow since a summer move from Celtic’s bitter cross-city rivals Rangers. Dani Ayala and Mark Tierney also retained their place after a 45-minute cameo against the Germans.

Johan Mjallby – in charge of the SPL champions with Neil Lennon away in Iceland scouting next week’s potential Champions League opponents – made nine changes from the team hammered 4-0 against Ajax on Saturday. Celtic’s famous pre-match huddle turned the volume up a considerable number of decibels amongst the Parkhead faithful ahead of the first home outing of the summer. City skipper Elliott Ward underlined his intent with a muscular aerial challenge on Daryl Murphy inside the opening seconds before ex-Gers defender Whittaker’s first introduction brought a predictably derisory response. City were forced to keep their defensive shape as the hosts’ bossed possession with Paddy McCourt setting the tempo in central midfield.

Morison sprung a swift counter for Vaughan but Mikael Lustig managed to harass the City frontman to concede a corner that Georgios Samaras cleared with ease. Vaughan’s desire to run the channels helped Hughton’s men gradually escape Celtic’s suffocating start to the contest. The ex-Evertonian triggered another counter with an energetic burst the precursor to a sweeping crossfield move that freed the overlapping Elliott Bennett, but Vaughan was unable to rise high enough to re-direct his far post cross.

Room mates Vaughan and Anthony Pilkington were not on the same wavelength just past the 15 minute mark when Morison’s clearing header raised the prospect of another genuine counter but Pilkington over-clubbed his intended pass for the City number eight.

Whittaker’s persistence almost paid dividends when he chased a lost cause deep into enemy territory for Morison to whip across the six yard box but Dylan McGeouch tracked back to frustrate Pilkington who looked set for a simple slot.

Whittaker needed running repairs following his lunging retrieval work; the cue for an early drinks break and Hughton to impart some detailed instructions to skipper Ward. City’s summer signing headed for the exit as a precaution with the catcalls ringing in his ears. Russell Martin entered the fray but not before Kris Commons had rattled John Ruddy’s bar from range before Lustig’s glancing near post header also clipped woodwork in a penetrative burst from Celtic.

Morison’s intelligent first time cushioned pass freed Pilkington to drill at Lucasz Zaluska guarding his near post. McCourt continued to be the source of present danger for the Bhoys, but Tierney was alert to sound the alarm when Murphy attempted to latch onto the Irishman’s throughball on the half hour mark.

Bradley Johnson took the sting out of Filip Twardzik’s drive to allow Ruddy the chance to parry around his post with Celtic regaining a measure of their initial control. Andrew Crofts threw up a hand in apology after being robbed by McGeouch who sprung Samaras but Ward did enough to force the Greek to try an impudent chip from an narrowing angle that drifted a yard wide of Ruddy’s far post.

Vaughan’s tangle with Zaluska in attempting to divert Tierney’s inviting high centre saw the Polish keeper forced off after suffering a head wound – Forster making his entrance to warm applause from both sets of fans.

Russell Martin emerged for the second period with nine new outfield colleagues. Howson patrolling in front of the back four with Chris Martin and Simeon Jackson supporting Holt. Chris Martin’s skimmed a header over following an impressively composed period of possession from the Canaries with Hoolahan and Surman key to the smooth rhythms – the City striker then tried to mimic Danny Welbeck’s Euro 2012 finish with a cute back heel that Forster kicked away.

Samaras raced away onto Commons’ defence-splitting pass on 64 minutes but his lift over Ruddy nestled on top of the goal. Celtic’s quartet of changes ahead of the final quarter took a degree of intensity out of a competitive test hitherto for Hughton’s men. Ryan Bennett had to cut out Twardzik’s probing cross with Gary Hooper sensing an immediate opportunity following his late introduction.

Ruddy was momentarily worried when Mohamed Bangura’s swivelling effort skipped away, but thankfully the right side of the City’s number one’s left-hand post. Both sides looked intent on playing out time but Forster almost inadvertently gifted his old employers a winner when he flapped at Jackson’s long range effort. Forster was less fortunate in the final minute when he could only divert Howson’s drive into Holt’s path.

• Norwich (first half line up): Ruddy, Whittaker (R Martin 24), Ayala, Ward, Tierney, E Bennett, Crofts, Johnson, Pilkington, Morison, Vaughan.

• Norwich (second half line up): Ruddy, R Martin, Barnett, R Bennett, Lappin, Howson, Surman, Hoolahan, C Martin, Holt, Jackson

•Goal: Holt (89)

•Celtic: Zaluska (Forster 45), Lustig, Rogne, Wilson (Wanyama 35), Izaguirre, McGeouch (Forrest 61), McCourt, Twardzik, Samaras (Matthews 69), Commons (Bangura 69), Murphy (Hooper 60). Subs: all used.

• Referee: Callum Murray

Latest Norwich City stories

17 comments

  • The King of Spain is the consumate pro and has done great for us ("he really has") but we must get further cover in at left back. Both he and Tierney are suseptable to wingers with pace (eg Walcott). Not suggesting we need to off load him as I suspect he must be one of our lowest paid players, but I would be worried if he gets much PL game time.

    Report this comment

    canarydownunder

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

  • Yes - but it's not exclusive to you MB :-D ! All I said was that 45 minutes is a bit more than a cameo, more like half a game. Alfred Hitch**** made "cameo" appearances in his films - meaning a few seconds! No rudeness - simple statements of fact! So as I said - why ether that? :-?

    Report this comment

    The Crab

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

  • Well, MB, it's just as much my preserve as yours - you don't have exclusive rights to being ethered :-} It's getting better here - I've just tried twice to send a reply to your last, and when I click "Submit" I just get a white screen, and nothing happens - yet at the same time I can go on another tab and deal with emails, no problem!

    Report this comment

    The Crab

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

  • Hi Crab. Complaining about ethering was meant to be my speciality, so I`ve been advised! ;-)

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

  • GH up front again with CM will this be the rebirth of that successful combo. heard Braintree put out a weakened team !

    Report this comment

    wivenhoebudgie

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

  • I`d have thought we`d want to keep Vaughan and see what he can do; he`s hardly played but seems to be up for it just now. A trade for Jordan Rhodes? Well, that might be worth a thought. I think IF JV can stay injury-free, he could prove to be quite a success. Fingers crossed.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

  • sorry for duplication had server error when sending first one.Overload at this time wow !!!

    Report this comment

    wivenhoebudgie

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

  • Now why would you ether that?!

    Report this comment

    The Crab

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

  • Holt combined with Chris Martin again up front.Hope it can develop into the partnership it was and could be again. Heard Braintree put out a weakened team !

    Report this comment

    wivenhoebudgie

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

  • Apparently The Sun is reporting that 'uddersfield want to take Vaughan on loan. Bull s**t - or is this a sweetener for Rhodes?

    Report this comment

    canarydownunder

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

  • Aha! - now my original one has come through with the latest one! How can we possibly keep up a dialogue with all this interference going on? It's like p***ing in the wind!

    Report this comment

    The Crab

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

  • Elliott Ward started as skipper. Interesting. Not too surprised Whittaker got an early injury. 1p5wich thrashed the mighty Braintree 1-0 too. All good!

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

  • 45 minutes is not a cameo Paddy - it's half a game! A cameo is a very brief appearance such as Alfred Hitchcock used to make in his films.

    Report this comment

    The Crab

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

  • a good performance in both halves, plenty of passing and moving, cracking atmosphere and a fantastic day out with the Celtic fans, just wish I could get my voice back, but I think Ive left it in Scotland! Looks like a couple of decent signings about to happen too, all starting to look positive for next season. OTBC

    Report this comment

    CanaryCitizen

    Thursday, July 26, 2012

  • Good to get the win. It will be interesting to see when CH stops total rotation and we may then get an idea as to his preferred starting line-up. No outing for reserve keeprs this game! OTBC

    Report this comment

    Jakarta Canary

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

  • Nice to see Holty doing the business again and a clean sheet that's very encouraging. OTBC

    Report this comment

    cutty

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

  • Excellent news. Vaughan again lively, Holt scores, we'll need his goals just as much this year, so good for confidence to get the first one early. And three words in this that particularly pleased - "solid in defence".

    Report this comment

    Johannesburg Chris

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

loading...

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT