City book summer trip to the seaside
CHRIS LAKEY Norwich City have been handed the longest trip possible in the Carling Cup, having pulled out Torquay away in Wednesday's draw. Canaries fans hoping that the regionalised format would give them a reasonably short midweek hop were out of luck and now they face a midweek round trip of 632 miles - and the prospect of finding a hotel room on the English Riviera while the holiday season is still in full swing.
Norwich City have been handed the longest trip possible in the Carling Cup, having pulled out Torquay away in Wednesday's draw.
Canaries fans hoping that the regionalised format would give them a reasonably short midweek hop were out of luck and now they face a midweek round trip of 632 miles - and the prospect of finding a hotel room on the English Riviera while the holiday season is still in full swing.
It will be City's first visit to Plainmoor for more than a decade - the last time they were there was for the second leg of a second round tie in the same competition in October, 1995, and, having hammered Torquay 6-1 at home, they won 3-2 to go through 9-3 on aggregate.
This time around it's a one-legged tie - to be played in the week starting August 21 - and City will be eager to banish the demons that have haunted their League Cup campaigns in recent years when they have suffered a series of embarrassing defeats against supposedly inferior opposition.
It's something of a hiding to nothing tie for Canaries boss Nigel Worthington, who will be more concerned with the early progress of City's Championship campaign, which begins less than a fortnight earlier.
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“It's the Carling Cup and these type of games are always tough, whether they are home or away,” said Worthington.
“It will be a big game for Torquay and it's important we are up for the game.”
Worthington's record in the Carling Cup leaves a lot to be desired: City fell to Brentford, Cheltenham and Northampton in three woeful first round displays at the beginning of his reign, but since then have managed to reach the third round on consecutive season, losing to Newcastle and then, last season, to Birmingham.
Torquay narrowly avoided relegation to the Conference last season, but manager Ian Atkins, who guided them through the nervous closing stages of the campaign, knows he has a real chance of a morale-boosting upset.
And Atkins certainly has the motivation - he was manager of the Bristol Rovers side which lost 1-0 at Carrow Road in the second round of the competition in September, 2004.
Ipswich boss Jim Magilton's first cup match will be at Peterborough, now under the guidance of manager Keith Alexander while First Division newcomers Colchester are at MK Dons and Southend at Bournemouth.
Full draw: Chesterfield v Wolves, Stoke v Darlington, Port Vale v Preston, Burnley v Hartlepool, Sheffield Wednesday v Wrexham, Bury v Sunderland, Hull v Tranmere, Blackpool v Barnsley, Huddersfield v Mansfield, Carlisle v Bradford, Rotherham v Oldham, Scunthorpe v Lincoln, Accrington v Nottingham Forest, Grimsby v Crewe, Leeds v Chester, Doncaster v Rochdale, Stockport v Derby, Leicester v Macclesfield, Cardiff v Barnet, MK Dons v Colchester, Swindon v Brentford, Crystal Palace v Notts County, Hereford v Coventry, Swansea v Wycombe, Peterborough v Ipswich, Bournemouth v Southend, Brighton v Boston, Cheltenham v Bristol City, Millwall v Gillingham, Southampton v Yeovil, Birmingham v Shrewsbury, Plymouth v Walsall, Bristol Rovers v Luton, QPR v Northampton, Torquay v Norwich, Leyton Orient v West Brom.