Looking back at Norwich games

Burnley don't usually perform well on the magic lantern, but our last three televised SKY games have seen the Clarets beat Liverpool, Wolves and more recently, Hull City in matches, all with just the single goal. With new signings, Andy Gray, Phil Bardsley and Alan Mahon, all expected to make their home debuts, the Clarets will now be hoping that they can kick on from their recent poor run of results.

Micky Mellon - involved in both goals in the 2000 win
Burnley went to Carrow Road over the festive period, having just picked up back to back home victories against Watford and Stoke City. At that time, Steve Cotterill's side were playing an exciting brand of football and were creating a plethora of goal scoring opportunities in each game. It was that game though that started the rot and since that bitterly cold Norfolk night, Burnley have picked up just five points in twelve Championship games, scoring only four goals in the process. Indeed, Chris McCann's goal at QPR, is the only league goal that has been scored in open play, by a fully contracted Burnley player, since the turn of the New Year.

Many Burnley fans will now be looking for goals from new loan signing, Andy Gray. After receiving very little service at Stoke City last weekend, it can only be hoped that the Burnley midfield, with its new addition of Mahon, can provide Gray with the type of quality service that he has thrived on so effectively, at this level of English football over recent years.

Since their fall from the top tier of English football on the final day of last season, Norwich have been very unpredictable in the Championship this term. Recently, Dean Ashton was sold to West Ham for seven million pounds; not bad, considering that Norwich only paid three million to secure his services from Crewe Alexandra one year previous. Nigel's Worthington's side is full of experience and with players such as Huckerby, Earnshaw, Johansson and McKenzie; they are likely to provide a real test for Burnley's defence.

As we take a look back at some recent games between the two sides at Turf Moor, Burnley have won two of the four games played since being promoted from Division two in May of 2000. Norwich managed a victory in their most recent trip to Burnley, with the other game ending in a score draw.

In front of 15,000 fans and on a cold November night, Burnley moved up to fourth place in the league, with a comfortable 2-0 win in 2000 over team donning yellow and green. The very handsome, Iwan Roberts played as the lone forward for Norwich, as they tried to play defensive football, in the hope that they might catch Burnley on the break. The Clarets created a number of half chances early on and should have taken full advantage when Andy Payton was given the opportunity to score from the spot, albeit after being awarded what looked like a very soft penalty. Payton's spot kick was poor and was parried well by Marshall in the Norwich goal.

The second half was not much different to the first, with Burnley continuing to create half chances. One million pound signing, Ian Moore, was introduced to the action shortly after the interval and he played a big part in the game's opening goal. Picking up a neat pass from Micky Mellon, Moore played an inch perfect ball down the right channel for the onrushing Paul Weller, who played a low centre towards the front post. After missing the penalty in the first half, Payton was quickest to the ball and he duly nodded Burnley into the lead. The three points were Burnley's soon after as Mellon was again involved, this time sending in a delightful corner kick which was headed home in typical Steve Davis fashion.

Glen Little receives treatment after the kick to the head
In March 2002 the two sides fought out a 1-1 draw in a game that will be remembered for the wrong reasons. It had all started so well, with Gareth Taylor heading home a Glen Little corner, past former Burnley keeper, Paul Crichton on the ten minute mark. Burnley adopted a fast and lively game plan from the off and flowing football resulted. Fifteen minutes in, Glen Little's head clashed with Darren Kenton's boot whilst trying to compete for a long Marlon Beresford clearance. Little went down unconscious. It looked very serious and certainly brought an end to our early dominance.

In the second half, Norwich were quicker to the ball and started to have much more of the possession. As Burnley had done in the first half, Norwich scored, within ten minutes, as Briscoe failed to block a low cross and neither Davis nor Beresford dealt with the centre. Libbra was quickest to act and he crept in between the static clarets and dispatched across Beresford with consummate ease. The scoreline stayed at 1-1, but Norwich should have taken all three points following their second half domination. At the end of the season, this result turned out to be costly as we all know, with Norwich taking the last available play off spot from Burnley, by a solitary goal.

It was back to winning ways in 2002/2003, this time against an excellent Norwich side. With Little and Blake linking well for Burnley and Paul McVeigh creating some good chances for the Canaries, the game never seemed to have a dull moment. Burnley just about edged the first half, but Norwich could so easily have gone in ahead at half time, had Beresford not been alert to a snap shot from the aforementioned McVeigh. The shot was well struck and thankfully for Burnley Beresford managed to palm the strike onto the post.

In the second half, Norwich were slightly more dominant and would have felt aggrieved when Mark McGregor powered home a header from a Robbie Blake free kick just shy of the hour mark. Following the goal, it was surprising to see Stan Ternent make an attacking substitution. In years gone by, the last 30 minutes of the game would have seen Burnley defending a one goal lead, but on this particular day, Ternent decided to throw caution to the wind and introduce a third striker, in the hope that Burnley could grab a second. Papadopoulos came on for Branch and he soon came close, but was foiled well by Rob Green.

Neil Wood - scored our first goal in the 5-3 defeat
Five minutes from time, the win was eventually sealed, as Robbie Blake brilliantly skipped past two yellow shirts and played a ball over to the back post. Stretching, Little met the cross and found just enough power to divert the ball past Green and into the goal. It was harsh on Norwich, but provided a big win for the Clarets; propelling them to within three points of the play off spots.

Our most recent game against the Canaries was a cracking game, but one which Burnley managed to lose, despite having been ahead in the game three times. Goals from Neil Wood and David May, were responded to quickly by strikes from Svensson and Huckerby. Robbie Blake drilled Burnley into a 3-2 lead just before the half time whistle, leaving Burnley fans wondering exactly how a team can be running away with the division, with such poor defenders on show.

In the second half, Norwich showed exactly what they were about and fully justified why they were a team on the verge of automatic promotion. Messrs Huckerby and Svensson quite simply ran the Burnley defence ragged and both bagged braces with second half goals. Sandwiched between these strikes Leon McKenzie got a goal of his own; heading home unmarked from a Huckerby centre. It was a thrilling second half Canaries display and was one which no doubt delighted Delia Smith who watched the game from the comfort of the Bob Lord Stand.

As we know, Norwich spent last season in the Premiership and if you were to ask any neutral fan to recall one memory of their campaign, they'd most likely recall Delia Smith's half time address of the Carrow Road crowd during their game against Manchester City.

Tonight's game isn't an attractive fixture. Coupled with the fact that the game is being played on a Friday evening, is being shown live on television and that there hasn't been all that much to shout about at Burnley recently, many supporters may decide to view the game from the comfort of their living room or the local pub. However, with three new signings on show, it promises to be a new look starting eleven for the Clarets.

With points still needed to stay well clear of the drop zone, Steve Cotterill will be hoping that the Burnley faithful will resist the temptation of their armchairs and come to cheer on their new look side, to a needed win, so “Let's be havin' you” at the Turf tonight!