Zak Whitbread: Norwich City used past cup upset to focus
Zak Whitbread admitted past cup misfires helped spur Norwich City as they put Burnley to the sword in their FA Cup third round win on Saturday.
The Canaries' recent record in both domestic cup competitions has left a lot to be desired, having exited last season's FA Cup to League One Leyton Orient at the first hurdle then and suffering Carling Cup embarrassment at home to MK Dons earlier this season.
But Norwich went a long way towards putting that to bed with a slick performance that was far too much for the Clarets to deal with – despite their Championship form that sees them currently pushing for a play-off spot.
'We approached it like any other game,' said the City centre-back. 'We had the disappointment of Orient last year and MK Dons this year.
'It's never nice to get beat and we had it in the back of our minds that we didn't want that to happen again, and I thought we went about it in the right way.
'The league is the main focus without a doubt, to stay in the Premier League. But the FA Cup, League Cup, no one wants to go into a game and get beaten.
'It was a good result and a good performance. After the first few minutes they put us under a bit of pressure and we controlled it then, passing and movement.
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'The pace on the pass was always import to get them running and moving, and I thought we did that really well and we never really stopped. We always looked strong.
'They got a goal back and the next goal was going to be really important, so to get the third one was nice.
'Some people may argue that one killed the game off a bit, but really it was all down to the lads starting out so well.'
City boss Paul Lambert put out a strong side to face Eddie Howe's outfit – although Dani Ayala was the only name in the starting XI that was not at Carrow Road during the Canaries' successful Championship promotion campaign last season.
So all the more reason to enjoy City's Saturday domination – especially given Norwich's failure to beat Burnley in 2010-11.
'The away game at Burnley last year sticks out,' admitted Whitbread. 'They beat us up there 2-1 and we owed them one, and it's always nice a year on to get one back.
'We went out and it was all about how we approached it and I think we did that well.
'We didn't stand off, we moved it quickly and I think we were really on top. All credit to the lads for going out there and doing that.'
In recent years City have had to deal with bouncing back from Cup defeat – this time Whitbread hopes the Canaries can use the momentum of progress in the league.
A Premier League trip to West Bromwich Albion awaits on Saturday, as Norwich return to their primary aim this season – survival.
'That's two wins on the bounce now and that does no one any harm whatsoever to get on little runs,' said the defender.
'Winning does breed confidence and hopefully that carries on, and there's no harm in going into West Brom next week off the back of that.
'We've just got to keep working hard and keep approaching games right and hopefully the results will come.'