Andy Munro freezes at St Andrews.
It was the stereotypical January soccer fixture – a biting cold wind and a nil-nil draw. Noticeable to the hardy watching throng was that the 6,000 or so Blues ‘fans’ who materialised by magic last week appeared to have disappeared in a cloud of woofle dust quicker than you could say Abracadabra.
In truth, the game was a dour affair with the Norwich manager and their team doing a Gary Rowett…defending deeply and only venturing out on the break. This was surprising given their depth of attacking talent illustrated by having the luxury of Jerome and Hooper on the bench.
While all Bluenoses bless the day that Gary took over the reins, everybody equally has their own take on things. Novak on his lonesome was the main debate last week whilst the confining of the reborn Shinniesta to the bench was this week’s hot topic.
Perhaps the idea was to rest the playmaker and bring in Dyer as a more physical presence to beef up a Morrison free team. Either way, the gamble didn’t really work as, apart from one mazy run in the second period, Dyer seemed to lack sharpness. His role out wide confined Demi Gray to a more central role in which he never looked either effective or comfortable.
Neither Gleeson or Davies showed any fluency of passing so it was left to Cotterill to provide the threat. Undoubtedly, the high point was a resilient defensive display and, on the subject of highpoints, you would have backed Tony Cottee to outjump the vertically challenged duo of Robbo and Spector. Yet, they weren’t found wanting against Grabham (who grabbed a couple when he last played for Bournemouth against the Blues), nor the late appearance of Cameron Jerome. The full-backs also did us proud with Caddis both defending solidly and finding time to overlap like days of old. The increasingly impressive Jon Grounds also did an excellent job in keeping Redmond comparatively quiet.
Chances were few and far between apart from one superb save each by Randolph and Ruddy. Blues brought on both Ziggy and Shinnie in the latter stages, when, without being overly critical of our Managerial Saviour, I would have probably give the pacey Thomas a run.
Still, it was a decent point when you compare the substantial amount of investment in the Canaries compared to the chickenfeed spent on Blues.