Charlton backs Norwich City at Bolton

Ex-Norwich City defender Simon Charlton is convinced City can pick up their first Premier League win this season on Saturday at another of his former haunts, Bolton.

Charlton was part of Nigel Worthington's class of 2005 who also started with two draws from their opening four top flight fixtures. The retired defender had previously helped the Trotters establish themselves in the Premier League during a four-year spell – but backs Paul Lambert's men to build on an encouraging return to the spotlight.

He said: 'It gets bigger and bigger with each game. The league is so tight that if you get those three points it jumps you right up the table and psychologically you feel so much better jumping four or five places up the table – even at this early stage.

'I would have said Norwich had the better chance of all three promoted clubs.

'QPR have strengthened up now, they looked good the other night, so I suppose there could be an argument that with the budget they have got they can push on now.


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'If you look at Bolton, it's almost totally different from my day. Owen (Coyle) has got them playing really good football and it could be a good game because Bolton want to pass it around too – although Kevin Davies is still there up front who can knock people around. I suppose him and Grant Holt are very similar in style but there is no reason for Norwich to go up there and have any concerns.

'They have played Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and narrowly lost when they probably didn't deserve to get beat.'

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Charlton believes Norwich's latest display in the televised weekend home defeat to West Brom further underlined they can compete at the sharp end.

He said: 'They were really unlucky. I have been so impressed by how they have set their stall out in the Premier League. There has been none of this asking teams to try and break them down, they have given as good as they have got. They have got some good players in the squad.

'Paul hasn't gone out and brought in big name players. He has done his homework and looked to bring in lads who can fit into his style and system and enhance it.

'At this moment it has gone as I expected. They are playing some good, exciting stuff, making a lot of friends up and down the country but last season they were used to winning. That breeds confidence.

'Results haven't been that bad but when you are struggling for the first win the longer that goes on it can start to erode that confidence which has been built up over the last couple of seasons. It is important the manager and his coaching staff and the senior pros keep that going.'

Charlton also believes Lambert's squad could be better equipped to survive compared with City's last brush with the Premier League.

He said: 'I've got no doubts the team can score goals. When we were here last time, bringing in someone like Dean Ashton changed us in that respect, but we were too open.

'We kept conceding goals and perhaps let the opposition play through us too easily. I don't think they have done that this time around.'

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