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Caballero impressed by Canaries spirit

Willie Caballero

Willie Caballero

Willy Caballero expects Norwich to give City a tough examination in this Saturday’s FA Cup third round tie at Carrow Road.

The Blues narrowly beat the Canaries 2-1 at the Etihad earlier this season with Yaya Toure grabbing a last-minute penalty.

Now, with Norwich winning three of their last four games, the City keeper is expecting the hosts to be in buoyant mood and have taken confidence from their Etihad performance.

“I think it will be a similar game to the match we played in the Premier League,” said Caballero. “Norwich will be difficult to play on their own ground but we will go there to win.

"They are a good team who fight in every match and we’ve studied them closely and seen all their matches this season. They’re not easy to beat and we only won our game at the Etihad in the final minute so we know we’ll need to play really well to get a result.

“I think we need to be more aggressive when we defend and concentrate throughout because we want to start an FA Cup run on Saturday and begin with a clean sheet.”

Caballero also paid tribute to the City fans who have backed the team in large numbers over the past few weeks – especially over the festive and New Year Period.

The trip to East Anglia is the Blues fifth road trip in six games but Caballero says the travelling support is a source of inspiration and pride to the players.

“Our supporters are incredible,” he said. “This is another long journey for our fans but they will be at Carrow Road again in big numbers.

“I know it is expensive to travel away and four of our last five games before and just after Christmas have been in London, Leicester, Watford and Norwich so we are very lucky to have support like this.

“It gives us a lift to see them when we walk out and we’ll be trying to win this for them.”

The Argentine keeper also admitted with so many matches, the players will naturally feel some fatigue – but that it is vital to find a way to win even if the team are not at their best.

“We have to be careful with so many games this month,” he said. “We saw Liverpool lose three players with hamstring injuries against Stoke and this can happen when you are playing so regularly.

“It’s difficult to keep your best levels so we have to concentrate because it’s not always possible to play your best in every match, no matter how hard we try.

“If we can’t be at our very best, we need to make sure we defend well and find a way to win as we did at Watford.

“We have a really strong squad with some world class players and if you think that we’ve been without Aguero, Kompany, Nasri, Silva, Clichy and Zabaleta for much of the season, I think we’re doing really well.

“We have won some vital games with a lot of our best players missing, so we believe anything is possible when we are at full strength again.

“Whoever plays against Norwich, we’ll be ready and fighting to win every competition we are in. Last season we went out against Middlesbrough so we have to learn from defeats like that. We want to get the final but we can only think one game at time.

“We’ll be going for the win but if we can’t win, we must make sure we don’t lose.”

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