Miserable return to Barnsley for Watkins as struggle to make an impact for Canaries continues
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Our latest Norwich City player watch followed the fortunes of Marley Watkins during last night’s 1-1 draw at Barnsley, here’s how the forward’s return to Oakwell unfolded.
8 – Josh Murphy robs Joe Williams on halfway, passes to Watkins and sprints down the right but the Wales international’s pass is too hard and cleared by Liam Lindsay. Soon after can’t beat keeper Adam Davies to Grant Hanley’s long ball.
11 – Pokes James Husband’s ball forward on to Murphy on the left, who wins a corner.
25 – Tries to challenge Fryers to win a Gunn kick, misses his man and ends up on his backside. Hands on hips after picking himself up, as frustration starts to show.
39 – Important block to stop Mamadou Thiam firing a cross back in after Hanley clears initial corner.
45+2 – Breaks down the left, initial cross is blocked by Andy Yiadom and then pass to the edge of the box to no-one is cleared, bringing big cheers from the home crowd soon after the Tykes had taken the lead through Oli McBurnie.
48 – Controls Timm Klose’s clearance and passes back to the defender, who sends James Maddison down the left, earning a free-kick. After being played short Watkins is eventually adjudged to be offside.
63 – Murphy plays to him midway in the first half, manages to return the pass despite being bumped over by Jackson but Maddison is tackled by Gary Gardner.
65 – Exchanges one-two with Murphy and then sends Husband down the left with a nice pass, Murphy crosses and Maddison beats Davies to the ball but chance breaks down.
70 – Jackson misjudges Murphy’s ball down the left, Watkins picks out the on-rushing Husband nicely but Lindsay makes a good block as the left-back shoots.
84 – Nice one-two with Wes Hoolahan on the left eventually sees Murphy’s scuffed shot held by Davies, with Watkins sniffing around for the rebound.
90+1 – Replaced by Dennis Srbeny.
VERDICT: Totally ineffective in the first half, particularly when trying to win the ball in the air, but more involved after the introduction of Hernandez and a switch to a 4-1-4-1 shape 10 minutes after the break. May benefit from a run of games with Nelson Oliveira out injured but needs to find another couple of gears.
RATING: 5 out of 10