A Thoroughly Professional Performance
Chris Hughton made eight changes to the side that lost at West Ham for this trip to the potential banana skin of Peterborough United.
Rested were Bunn, Turner, Bassong, Howson, Hoolahan, Tettey, Pilkington and Kane as the manager kept one eye on the visit of Newcastle next Saturday.
In came fringe first team players, Rudd, Barnett, Tierney, Fox, Johnson, Elliot Bennett, Lappin and Jackson.
This was a thoroughly professional performance from what might look on paper to be a mostly second string side but there was still plenty of class on show from the likes of Snodgrass, Bennett, Fox and Jackson.
Indeed Peterborough produced a rather low key performance. You would think that being at home, the Championship side would want to negate City`s class with work rate and effort.
But this just didn`t happen. They rarely threatened Declan Rudd`s goal and he didn`t have a save to make until the 88th minute and even that didn`t tax him too much.
As Darren Ferguson pointed out in his post match talk to the media, Posh didn`t make a meaningful tackle until the 65th minute. He even took the step of apologising to the fans for his team`s performance.
Elliot Bennett, given the "Hoolahan role" behind Jackson found plenty of space and tested Olejnik who had to make a terrific save, early on.
Norwich found possession very easy to come by and were not pressed by the home side at all. It seemed that a goal was inevitable and on 30 minutes it was the lively Bennett who scored.
A great run into the box by Robert Snodgrass resulted in the goal when he played a simple pass to Bennett who scored easily from close range.
Eleven minutes later the Canaries doubled their lead when a long ball from David Fox, a perfect reminder of his ability, was dropped onto the toes of Jackson.
After limited opportunities this term, Jackson scored with a lovely chip over the on rushing Olejnik.
It could`ve been three before half time when Snodgrass` superb free kick from 25 yards was tipped over the bar by Olejnik. The Posh keeper had seen more of the ball than most of his team mates in the first period.
In the second half, Ferguson tried to make a game of it tactically but it never materialised and City were able to keep up a comfortable pace until the excellent Snodgrass settled things in the 70th minute.
He was played through a Posh defence best described as "missing in action" and easily stroked the ball past Olejnik.
That was the City winger`s final contribution in what had been a fine performance. He was replaced by Jacob Butterfield with no doubt, one eye on the visit of the Toon army.
After the match Darren Ferguson kept his side in the dressing room until around 7pm. If he`s anything like his dad I expect the hair dryer was on.
This was a very comfortable day at the office and Posh will be disappointed that they couldn`t offer any sort of test.
It was a good run out for a number of players and of those fringe players, Elliot Bennett and Simeon Jackson will be the happiest with their day`s work. Both scored and Jackson in particular will be hoping for more game time if Holt and Morison are still struggling next Saturday.
The fourth round awaits, what would we like? I firmly believe that a cup run can do us no harm really, although Premier league survival has to be the priority and Hughton said as much before the match.
He may well continue to use fringe players and I wouldn`t blame him. It`s no slight on the competition, it`s just that priorities for our club have changed over the last few years.
But getting back to this game, as Chris Hughton said, this was a thoroughly professional performance - well done lads.