Paulton will respect Norwich City quality
PUBLISHED: 10:20 05 November 2009 | UPDATED: 15:04 06 July 2010
Norwich City have been promised there will be no dirty tricks when they travel to FA Cup minnows Paulton Rovers on Saturday. The west country side are hosting the biggest match in their club's history, with just over 2,000 fans packing into their tiny Winterfield Road ground.
Norwich City have been promised there will be no dirty tricks when they travel to FA Cup minnows Paulton Rovers on Saturday.
The west country side are hosting the biggest match in their club's history, with just over 2,000 fans packing into their tiny Winterfield Road ground.
But while they will need every advantage available to overcome the Canaries, manager Andy Jones said the match will be played on a level playing field - literally.
“We are not like that here,” he said. “This is Paulton Rovers, this is a friendly village club, we are a friendly club. We want everyone to come here on Saturday to embrace us and enjoy their day and go home and say win, lose or draw, what a fabulous club Paulton Rovers was.
“Hopefully we will pick up a few fans from that and ensure our future.
“We have also got a family of groundsmen, a father and two sons who look after the pitch and they wouldn't have it any other way. It will look very good. They do spend a lot of time on it and it is a great credit to them how they get it looking.”
Jones says Paulton's philosophy is to play football - and Saturday will be no different.
“I don't think we know how to play any other way,” he said. “Defensively we've had nine clean sheets this season, that's probably more than we have had the last four years put together.
“One thing we do is we counter-attack very well.”
Paulton officials are in contact with FA officials twice a day in case the pitch needs to be covered because of rain, which could turn it into a mudbath.
“The FA appoint a specialist company who are in contact with our groundsman at least twice a day as to the state of our pitch,” said secretary Andrew Harris. “I'm told it can be delivered and erected within four hours, so if the weather forecast is bad and it looks as though we need to get that in place a decision will be taken and it will be down here.”
Assistant boss Paul Milsom has been charged with studying City's players and tactics - with more than a little help from Bristol Rovers manager Paul Trollope - and knows the danger that leading scorer Grant Holt can cause.
“Everyone knows him, he is one that we have earmarked as being one of their better players but they are going to have quality throughout the side,” he said.
“Wes Hoolahan is another one we have been made aware of, but at the end of the day they are professional footballers and they are going to be good footballers.
“It all depends on how they look at it and how they treat it - if they turn up and don't really fancy it and we are on top of our game we can cause an upset.
“But they have quality throughout the side so we have to make sure we respect that quality. Our boys are up for it, we will give our best and see what happens.”
t Paulton fans have sorted their own FA Cup bonus - a pint of cider.
Blackthorne Cider - made by the Gaymer's Cider Company in nearby Shepton Mallet - will have their logo on the back of the players' shirts.
In return, if Paulton win, all home fans at the game will be given a free pint of the west country's favourite tipple.
Paulton boss Andy Jones said: “We're all big fans of cider and are hoping to have some celebratory pints come full time on Saturday.”
Norwich City boss Paul Lambert, above, has been shortlisted for October's League One manager-of-the-month award.
Lambert's side won five matches last month, with the only blemish to his perfect record a late defeat at leaders Leeds in a pulsating televised game. A quartet of league wins moved the Canaries into the play-off places while a 1-0 Johnstone's Paint Trophy win at Gillingham booked City a quarter-final tie at Swindon next week.
Lambert faces competition from MK Dons manager Paul Ince, Southampton's Alan Pardew and Millwall's Kenny Jackett.
Lambert was previously overlooked in the nominations for August's award won by Charlton boss Phil Parkinson despite an impressive string of early season results for Colchester and the Canaries following his East Anglian switch.
Divisional winners will be announced on Sky's Soccer Saturday programme this weekend.
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