Norwich playmaker ‘We have got to beat Newcastle, simple’
The games are coming think and fast, with Norwich v Newcastle up next.
The meeting at St James Park arguably sparked the two clubs’ subsequent seasons in that dramatic final few minutes.
With nine matches played, Norwich were flying high on 20 points after only one defeat, Newcastle trailed four points behind.
Newcastle played really well but somehow found themselves trailing 3-2 in added on time with the Canaries set to go seven points clear of the Magpies, in what felt at the time like a crucial fixture.
Two last gasp goals within seconds of each other and Newcastle won 4-3, two very different sets of emotions for everybody connected to the two clubs.
Norwich went on to win only four of their next 14 Championship matches, whilst Newcastle were victors in 11 of their 14.
Sliding doors and all that…we’ll never know what would have happened if Norwich had held on, on 28 September 2016.
The two teams meet separated by 15 points and six places in the table, Newcastle looking to ensure an automatic place, Norwich aiming for the play-offs and currently two points off sixth.
Playmaker for the Norfolk club, Alex Pritchard, has looked ahead to the match and states ‘We’ve got to go and win it, simple’.
The Canaries have given themselves a chance with five wins from seven since the turn of the year, the only defeat a surprise loss at Rotherham.
Pritchard was an £8m summer signing from Tottenham but has struggled to make his mark, making only six league starts he was brought back into the team for the last two games and maybe no surprise that his involvement has helped them score seven goals in three hours of football.
At the weekend they crushed Nottingham Forest 5-1, going three up in the first 18 minutes, and they are now looking a confident proposition who can give Newcastle a tough game.
Newcastle look sure to rely on Rafa’s usual defensive formation and look to counter-attack, which could pay real dividends if they also defend like they did at Wolves on Saturday.
Last April saw Norwich come out on top in arguably the game which eventually relegated Newcastle – this time the prize is just as great as Newcastle look to make it 12 away wins out of 16 games on the road.
“We started really sharply (v Forest) and got the three goals and it led from there really. With the players we’ve got, we know we can do that we just have to work hard.
“It wasn’t just short passes, we mixed it up when we had to. We were on it from the word go and were hungry so came out as deserved winners.
“We’ve got a massive game on Tuesday night against Newcastle. We’ve got to go and win it, simple.
“It’s our own fault (not being in promotion spots) and we’ve got to get ourselves out of it.
“We can only blame ourselves for that but hopefully we can put it right. With a few wins we can do that.
“For myself, it’s not always easy coming to a new team and settling in. It’s taken a bit of time and I’ve just got to keep working hard.”
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