Magic men hold the key to promotion - Fleming
Craig Fleming says a sprinkling of 'magic dust' can help Norwich City to promotion this year.Fleming was a stalwart of the 2004 team which won promotion to the Premier League on the back of the sort of domination that Paul Lambert's team are currently enjoying.
Craig Fleming says a sprinkling of 'magic dust' can help Norwich City to promotion this year.
Fleming was a stalwart of the 2004 team which won promotion to the Premier League on the back of the sort of domination that Paul Lambert's team are currently enjoying.
And Fleming - who played every league game for Nigel Worthington's title winners - says the likes of Chris Martin, Grant Holt and Wes Hoolahan can do for Lambert's team what Darren Huckerby and Peter Crouch did six years ago.
'I think when you look at any team that's doing well in any division, first and foremost they are very hard to play against,' said Fleming. 'They won't be a team that is easily beaten. They are well organised, they are fit - and to win things and to do well you need to sprinkle a little bit of magic dust on that as well.
'When I look back at our team we had a team that was solid, we had made the play-off final two years earlier, we were hard to beat and then you added Crouchy and Hucks to that mix and the manager made a good team into a very, very good team.
'You look at the current team - they are well organised, they are hard to beat, they work very hard and they have got three lads up top who have got 60 goals between them - that's the magic dust.
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'They can win when they've been under the cosh a little bit or been off form a little bit, but they have got that little bit extra as well with the three lads who are always likely to get you a goal or two.
'Getting the mixture of both is the key - you look at the respective defence records. I know when we did well we had a pretty decent defensive record, and I know this side have one too, so straight away you are hard to beat and if you can build on top of that you are dangerous when you have got the ball as well - you're more or less the full package already.'
Lambert's team has been relatively stable this season - seven of his players have appeared in at least 28 of the 35 league games - just like the class of 2004.
'We had a lot of players who had been around for a number of years, who knew what it took to be successful in that league,' said Fleming, whose coaching career has taken off quickly with ambitious non-league outfit Lowestoft Town. 'On top of that we had very few injuries that year. That was important, the fact that we had a settled base.'
And as the season approaches its climax on May 8, Fleming is confident Norwich will last the distance: 'At the moment, City are the one team that looks solid, every other one has slipped up, but Norwich just keep on winning and finding a way to win,' he said.