Gunny looks to the Luck of the Irish
Feature by John Maiden
Updated Friday, 20th March 2009
John Maiden sums up the week's happenings at Carrow Road.In a week when those of us with a bit of Irish in us celebrated St Patrick's Day, there was bad luck for one Irishman with the news that Wes Hoolahan's ankle injury will keep him out of action for the remaining seven games. But this was followed by good news with the signing of another Irishman, Alan Lee, on loan from Palace until the end of the season.
With a third Irishman, David Mooney scoring once again to lift Norwich out of the bottom three last Saturday, the Canaries travel to Birmingham this Saturday with the experienced former Ipswich striker adding strength to a squad which already looks better equipped for Championship survival than it did before the change of manager.
Darel Russell was unlucky to get two bookings in the Plymouth game from a referee who did not even award Norwich a free kick for the challenge that brought a premature end to Wes Hoolahan's season. However, Gunny says he has players ready and waiting to fill Rusty's role in central midfield at St Andrew's, including that very loyal and patient Scotsman, Simon Lappin, whose determination has been rewarded in recent games with a place on the bench.
Television coverage of the Reading game means it will now be an evening kick-off on Monday 27th April. While this is annoying for supporters who can only get to weekend matches, the Canaries have had some of their best results under the Carrow Road floodlights and there may be a further advantage in knowing the results of matches involving fellow strugglers before taking to the field against the high-flying Royals.
More immediately, with Reading hard on the heels of Birmingham for automatic promotion, the Blues on their own turf will provide the toughest test yet for Gunny, who says his instructions to the team will be to go in search of three points, not one. With three wins and three clean sheets from the last four games, he has every right to be upbeat about taking on the Blues, but he knows that a draw would be a good result against what is most probably the strongest side in the Championship...