After inflicting a shock defeat on Arsenal ten days ago, Norwich City welcome another north London opponent to Carrow Road tomorrow, and former Canary Dion Dublin believes there is no reason why his old side can’t disrupt Andre Villas-Boas' Capital One Cup aspirations and maybe even mount a challenge of their own.
Tottenham Hotspur sauntered into the fourth round of the Capital One Cup following a casual 3-0 win over Carlisle United, but will be presented with a far tougher challenge in the form of Chris Hughton’s side tomorrow evening. Villas-Boas’ early-season woes may be beginning to fade as his side begins to find their impetus in the league, but Norwich have already proven to be a tricky encounter, having held Spurs to a 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane in early September.
While Villas-Boas has already made his intentions to pursue success in this competition and the Europa League as big a priority as anything else this season, Dion Dublin believes his old side are capable of throwing the Portuguese manager’s plans into disarray. “This is a very good fixture for Norwich, they have given Spurs such a tough time in their encounters last season and at White Hart Lane earlier this [season]. There will be more fear coming from the Spurs camp than from the Norwich camp, I would have thought,” Dublin said. “Norwich have nothing to lose, they are playing one of the top six Premier League clubs in a cup competition, it automatically becomes a one-off game.
“Undoubtedly Spurs have some quality players, so Norwich will have to batten down and give a performance similar to the one we saw them give Arsenal a few weeks ago. It may be the fourth round, but they are still a step closer to the prospect of getting hold of some silverware, and that mind-set will exist for both clubs, not just Spurs.”
Following their impressive 12th placed finish in the Premier League last campaign, trophy success may not have been on the agenda of Norwich City at the start of the season, with much hope directed towards the club maintaining their status as a top flight side. But as clichéd as it may sound, the nature of cup football suggests that stranger will things will always happen. Dublin, who was a FA Cup finalist with Aston Villa in 2000, is aware of how confidence can grow as a team progresses through a tournament, and what better way to do get that started than by dismissing Tottenham?
“Knocking out a team like Spurs would breed confidence, and the players will begin to think ‘hold on a minute, this could be something we can achieve,’” the former Manchester United striker added. “But when you get to that stage it is important to calm everyone down and take a step back, and consider what we have been doing to get where we are today. That’s what I think Chris Hughton will be doing, if Norwich manage to get over this massive hurdle that is Spurs.”
Dion Dublin was speaking to Sportsvibe on behalf of Capital One, the credit card company and new sponsors of the League Cup.