Video: Neil Adams delighted Norwich City stood up to the rough stuff against SC Bastia

Anthony Pilkington continues to be linked with Bolton and a swap deal involving South Korean international Lee Chung-Yong. Picture by Stefano Gnech/Focus Images Ltd Anthony Pilkington continues to be linked with Bolton and a swap deal involving South Korean international Lee Chung-Yong. Picture by Stefano Gnech/Focus Images Ltd

Saturday, July 26, 2014
10:35 AM

Norwich City under Neil Adams have the steely edge it will take to prosper in the Championship on the evidence of this combative friendly against Corsicans SC Bastia.

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"It was a feisty game, a little bit too feisty and I point the finger at the referee for that. I didn’t think he had a very good game at all."

Neil Adams

The Canaries’ made the short trip across the French border from their Italian training base in Chatillon Saint Vincent and Adams’ squad were rewarded with a test of their steel and skill against Claude Makelele’s Ligue One outfit.

Anthony Pilkington’s cool late slot cancelled out Francois Kamano’s opener to secure the parity Adams felt his side’s efforts deserved in a spicy contest that had numerous skirmishes, headlined by the early departures of Wes Hoolahan and Yannick Cahuzac on the referee’s advice. Hoolahan reacted angrily after being struck off-the-ball by the Bastia midfielder who appeared keen to continue the disagreement as both players left the field before John Ruddy and Russell Martin emerged as peace-makers.

Adams was in no doubt his players had deserved more protection.

“It was a feisty game, a little bit too feisty and I point the finger at the referee for that,” he said. “I didn’t think he had a very good game at all. The players were a bit frustrated with some of the decisions that went against them. Anyone who was here could see one or two were clearly wrong. Sometimes it can be hard to bite your lip then, although we have to do that.

“You see Wes cleaned out and then he has a hand pushed in his face. It wasn’t a punch but the referee comes over and asks me to take him off. That was disappointing.”

Adams was delighted with the application of his side, with Hoolahan a pivotal figure in a new-look formation which deployed Bradley Johnson and Jonny Howson as two holding midfielders.

“I was pleased with the performance. I felt we deserved to get something from the game. I would have been disappointed to have lost it to be honest because we had a lot more possession,” he said. “Performance-wise we looked strong, solid and we used the ball a lot better in the second half. We gave them a problem by stretching the pitch.

“They are a good team with Claude Makelele as manager and one or two excellent players in there. I enjoyed the tactical side of it. We changed how we set up with the two holding midfielders and I think when Claude saw that and with us having some joy through the middle and pace up front he changed his formation. I felt overall we were the better side. They would probably say in the first half in that final third they looked more threatening but after the break that was the other way around for me.”

City’s boss is now challenging his squad to build on solid foundations during the remaining pre-season friendlies.

“That use of the ball, the combinations, the passing through the middle areas of the pitch is going to be key for us this season. I really feel that,” he said. “The challenge for the players now is to re-produce that in games, not just in training. It is easy in training but we are capable of doing it. The only criticism I had at half-time was the diagonal passing was a bit astray because it was on to get our full-backs in all the time. I’ve told the lads I don’t have a problem with errors as long as they keep trying it and we got bags of opportunities after the break.”

City enjoyed territorial domination in the opening period but were fortunate to go in level after Floyd Ayite’s rising strike cannoned against Declan Rudd’s left-hand post and bounced back into play.

Livewire Kamano stabbed Bastia in front in the 65th minute when City were unable to clear a deep free-kick and the substitute reacted quickest to guide past the sprawling Rudd. Norwich were increasingly forced to probe on the counter with Pilkington denied a goalscoring chance by former Arsenal defender Sebastien Squillaci’s despairing dive to cut out Josh Murphy’s thoughball.

City continued to press and got their reward in the 85th minute when Jacob Murphy’s thunderbolt shot dropped into Pilkington’s path and the Republic of Ireland international calmly guided a right-foot finish past Jean-Louis Leca.

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15 comments

  • Imagine not being able to recruit a decent player like Lita because he expected to be paid. I suppose Norwich`s presence in The Championship might get 1p5wich fans a bit more interested, specially the derby games. It`ll take more than a bit of extra gate money to solve their financial problems, though. On a cautionary note, we were saved mainly by the Lambert Miracle. Miracles don`t come around very often, so Machianalli will have to be at the peak of his powers of prudence, Bless her. In hindsight, it is such a pity that, when the Club did see fit to splash some cash, we had an inept manager in charge. Oh, what Lambert might have done with those resources. Or Adams, for that matter - with a little bit of help from his friends. Perhaps Hyacinth needs to learn to be more patient with impatient managers. Though I feel Adams may be of the patient type anyway. Methinks he`ll need to be. Btw; that b****y Poll Pay advert is getting ever more intrusive.

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    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, July 27, 2014

  • We got loads a money you sad little knee person.

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    cutty

    Sunday, July 27, 2014

  • Keep the sniping going boys you paid 28 mil last year for what? You ended up where we are, chump as you call it, money well spent.

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    threenewknees

    Saturday, July 26, 2014

  • I`ve done that one, Ethiopian! But I`m glad you agree. Apparently, 1p5wich wanted him to pay Subs and buy his own half-time orange. Nit picking Ipswichian tvvits!

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    Mad Brewer

    Saturday, July 26, 2014

  • 1p5wich just declared that they cannot afford to sign Leroy Lita on a free transfer - perhaps he wanted wages too ? I guess their squad have had to get used to going home every week with a mixed bag of parsnips, sugar beet, turnips, swedes and carrots in lieu of wages. Oh well, returning back to their roots !

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    Ethiopian Canary

    Saturday, July 26, 2014

  • I`ll happily swap with you, Swiss!

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    Mad Brewer

    Saturday, July 26, 2014

  • I thought about it Bill, but it is a 6 hour drive and I am in an intensive physical rehab program at the moment so I could not fit it in and have had to stick with the videos. However, I am looking forward to a better season and a few chances to see some proper games!

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    Swiss Canary

    Saturday, July 26, 2014

  • A veritable feistyfest, Ethiopian! On 1p5wich, I have to admit to liking their manager, Mick McCarthy. He cannot buy players - he can scarcely get them on a `free`, as wages are also an issue. If he can conjure up a good season for the Donkeys out of that mess, he`s a genius. Just don`t conjure it up against us, Mr. McCarthy! Swiss - get a credit from Archie?? No chance.

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    Mad Brewer

    Saturday, July 26, 2014

  • Was wondering whether you saw this live Swiss. Wasn't it played in your back yard?

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    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Saturday, July 26, 2014

  • Didn't really seem so feisty as it was made out to be. Sort of innocuous clashes you expect in any competitive game. Wait until 1p5wich are 0-5 down at home, then it could start getting feisty !

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    Ethiopian Canary

    Saturday, July 26, 2014

  • I think that we are getting better coverage of the pre-season this year with the highlights being made available fairly promptly. Please can I have a credit for that Archie.

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    Swiss Canary

    Saturday, July 26, 2014

  • I didn`t pick on you, mr. mcardle.

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    Mad Brewer

    Saturday, July 26, 2014

  • no confusion about where it ended up you nit picker

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    harry mcardle

    Saturday, July 26, 2014

  • A point of confusion. Whilst the article describes Pilkington`s "calmly guided right-foot finish", the accompanying picture shows him "curling it home". With his LEFT foot.

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    Mad Brewer

    Saturday, July 26, 2014

  • Great! Now Paddy`s learned how to spell "feisty", it`s this month`s word of the day. Good ol` Neil is getting into the swing of it now. That was a game of two thirds. Not half, mate!

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    Mad Brewer

    Saturday, July 26, 2014

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