‘I was trying to take some of that positive thinking’ – City’s hat-trick hero thrilled to shine at Wycombe again

Jordan Rhodes took home the match ball after a hat-trick at Wycombe for Norwich Picture: Paul Cheste

Jordan Rhodes took home the match ball after a hat-trick at Wycombe for Norwich Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Adams Park was a happy hunting ground once again for Jordan Rhodes, as the striker fired Norwich City into the fourth round of the Carabao Cup with a hat-trick.

The Sheffield Wednesday loanee scored five goals in his last visit to Wycombe, leading Huddersfield to a 6-0 thrashing of Wanderers in League One back in 2011/12 – a season during which he scored 40 goals to fire the Terriers to promotion via the play-offs.

The 28-year-old admits he rolled back the years in his head ahead of City's third round tie last night, as he returned to the starting line-up and took his tally to the season to five goals.

'When I woke up in the hotel I was trying to imagine and really think of the good feelings which came last time around, get in some of the thoughts and positions I had last time,' Rhodes said.

'I went through all the goals in my head like it was only yesterday, so I was trying to take some of that positive thinking and fortunately enough the ball has found me in certain positions.

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'It was a little bit annoying that the referee ruled that one out at the end of the first half but it's a ground I look back on fondly.'

The striker scored two goals in three minutes, turning home an Emi Buendia cross in the 12th minute before finding the top-right corner from 20 yards soon after.

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League One side Wycombe pulled a goal back quickly but Rhodes thought he had his hat-trick in the 34th minute after rounding the home keeper and poking home from close range.

A Tom Trybull header still ensured the Canaries went into the break 3-1 ahead but the Scotland international was annoyed to be denied his treble in the first half.

'I was walking off and I was quite frustrated at half-time because that should have been three going in at half-time,' Rhodes continued.

'More so than that, not just the hat-trick for myself but going in as a team at half-time 4-1 up would have been a much better feeling going in the dressing room knowing that if we come out second half and playing our stuff then we can build on it.

'So it was almost a bit of a sucker punch but the referee seemed to give a handball decision out of nowhere.

'It was nowhere near my hand, it was in the middle of my chest and I said that to the referee, I told him I'm an honest player and I'd tell him he got it right because it did hit my hand – but it was nowhere near my hand and that was the most frustrating thing on a personal note.

'But it doesn't matter, these things happen in football and it's just pleasing that we managed to get over the line in 90 minutes after a scare at the end.'

REPORT: Rhodes hat-trick eases Canaries into fourth round of League Cup

His first hat-trick in a Norwich shirt was sealed six minutes after the break, with a deft flick from another Buendia cross, but Wycombe kept battling to make it a nervy finish for the Championship visitors.

'It was a great game for the neutral, coming down here on a Tuesday night and seeing two teams really slug it out – and fortunately enough at the end there we just managed to hold out,' the striker said.

'So it's a nice feeling to be in the fourth round of the League Cup.'

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The success extended City's winning streak to four games and unbeaten run to six matches, so Rhodes wasn't too worried about the goals conceded against lower-level opposition.

'A win's a win in a cup game, maybe in a league game it might do because you're thinking about goal-difference, but it's the cup and it's just a matter of getting the job done and moving on,' he added.

'We knew coming in here it would be a tough Wycombe side, they got out of League Two playing some good stuff and they caused us a right load of panic at the end there.

'So we're really pleased that we're through to the next round and look forward to the draw.'

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