CITY 6 NORWICH CITY 1
League Cup 2nd Round 2nd Replay Played at Stamford Bridge
29th September 1975
City Tueart (3 inc 2 pens), Doyle, Royle, Butler o.g.
Ref J Hunting
…our most impressive sustained performance of the season, and it was backed up by the size of the result. The team responded brilliantly to words I had thrown at them before we went out for that second replay against Norwich City ‘there’s been enough talking done about this Cup tie; I’m looking for action. That’s the thing that will matter in the end’.The action came in full. Sparked by a Dennis Tueart goal in the opening minute, a flying start by any standards-and what a fillip to a team’s confidence in a Cup game!-they never relented and I do not make false claims when I suggest that the final 6-1 victory does not tell the true tale of what might have happened to Norwich on that night at Stamford Bridge.
Our preparation for the tie was tremendous; the wet conditions were the type which this City team revel in; and I’ll swear you could have felt the will to win bubbling from everyone in the dressing room as the final briefings were given.
…I did not expect it would need a third game to clinch our way through the second round. After we had got a result at Norwich, which was a stern test, we should have finished the job at Maine Road. Once a replay had been achieved, my apprehension reduced considerably. Yet we didn’t finish it off on our own ground-nor did we deserve to.
…I do not want to take away from the performance produced by Norwich-it was the best they played in the three cup meetings between the teams. The two front men, Ted MacDougall and Phil Boyer, were especially outstanding in that first replay and would have been a handful for any defenders in the country in that form.I feel that a decision taken between my assistant, Ian MacFarlane, and myself, before we seriously put our thoughts to the next replay had a big part to play in putting the team in the right frame of mind. We made the unusual arrangement of taking the first team squad away from their homes for the week-end, intent on getting them relaxed for at least 24 hours before getting them eager to take another crack at Norwich.
Barely one hour after we had finished an exacting League game with Manchester United, the party boarded a coach for a destination which I had told nobody about, just outside London. I appreciate that footballers spend a lot of time away from their families, but in this situation I believed that getting completely away from the aftermath of a Manchester `derby’ game which everybody wanted to talk about, was the tonic for. tiredness.
We got to our hotel in the late evening, had a nice meal, a sensible intake of wine, and then the lads went off to an uninterrupted rest. It was almost mid-day on Sunday before everyone surfaced again, well rested, and we had a good half-hour walk to loosen the aches and get the lungs functioning properly. By this time the tensions of the previous week were well tamed. So we spent the start of the afternoon watching the televised football match and then. for the fourth time since I took over as manager, I called a staff talk-in.
There were some great points raised. Fresh minds and thoughts were at work. Dennis Tueart raised opinions about the way Norwich feed their passes into the twin strikers and his views on effective measures to counter their system. And that got other players contributing. So suddenly we had a tricky subject being tackled from various angles, an it was advantageous to the strategy that I had been working on.
The evening was spent at the pictures. Then back to bed.On Monday morning was the real build-up. A training session locally and the application of thought to the task that night. A lot of you did not have the privilege of seeing the play-off. An attendance of 7,000 at Stamford Bridge is proof of that. I’m sorry that you had to miss the treat. It was a proud night to be in Blue.
ADAPTED FROM TONY BOOK’S PROGRAMME NOTES 8TH OCTOBER 1975