Worthy: There is a long way to go

CHRIS LAKEY Nigel Worthington hailed his five-star strike force after their Saturday afternoon rampage against Barnsley - and then began talking about avoiding relegation.


Nigel Worthington hailed his five-star strike force after their Saturday afternoon rampage against Barnsley - and then began talking about avoiding relegation.

The Canaries sit second in the fledgling Championship table after:

t Three wins in their opening five games

t 10 goals - more than any other team in the table

t Their biggest win in almost two and a half years

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t Robert Earnshaw scored for the seventh consecutive home game

t Fielding the same starting line-up for the first four games

But with the chants of “Champions” still echoing around Carrow Road, Worthington was quick to prick the bubble of expectancy which was such a weight around City's necks last season.

“Don't listen to that, that doesn't cut anything, it's a one-off performance,” said Worthington, who now has a fortnight to prepare for City's next match because of next weekend's international fixtures.

“They were down to 10 men. Second half we were very professional, very ruthless in our approach. We deserved what we got and thereafter 10 points has never won anything in any one season so there is a hell of a long way to go.

“It was important that we got 10 points at five o'clock tonight. People say look at the league table - the league table means absolutely nothing. We need another 40, 41 points before we can be relegated. If we can get to 50, 51 whenever then we can have a look, see what time of the season we're there and reassess from there.”

City had the best possible start, Robert Earnshaw scoring from the spot after he had been brought down by Antony Kay, who was sent off. Carl Robinson added a second, and three goals in a devastating second-half burst, after Barnsley had been allowed to peg it back to 2-1 before the interval, ended the match as a contest.

And it was that first-half shake that wound Worthington up for a half-time moan at his players.

“It's a win, a good win,” said Worthington. “First half I wasn't happy with at all - we got sloppy at 2-0 up. They had a man sent off and the game became too easy in their thinking. We got sloppy in our passing and gave the ball away and what I was thinking happened - that they would score a goal, and it was a case of how we reacted.

“So we got in at half-time, sorted things out that we wanted, and, credit to the players, they went out and applied that.

“I said to them that if we kept playing like that it will be like Luton, only that it will be Barnsley who win the game. I asked them to got out there and do the sort of things we should have done first half and they have gone out there and proved me right. We had to be sharper - it was too sloppy.”

The second-half goals came from Earnshaw, Lee Croft and destroyer-in-chief Darren Huckerby, who was told by Worthington to go for the throat in the second half.

“I had a discussion with Hucks at half-time,” said Worthington. “First half he's getting the ball, he's allowing the defence to double up and nothing happens. Second half he gets the ball and he runs down their throat - and creates two goals and scores one. That's what he has to do on a regular basis, as has Croft.

“Earnie does what Earnie does best, score goals - two good goals, he worked hard for the team. That the three front men scored plus a midfielder is pleasing.”

There's no doubt that City's cause was helped by Barnsley being a man light, but Worthington's sympathy for Kay went only so far.

“First off, you don't want to see anybody sent off,” he said. “The ref has to apply the rule. Earnshaw is through one on one with the keeper and the lad has brought him down from behind so the letter says that if that's the case he's got to go.”