Nolan: I'll Give Him That One, It Was Absolutely Crazy
Friday, 20th Nov 2020 12:41
Jon Nolan knew the instant team-mate James Norwood hit the back of the net with a spectacular, acrobatic effort in training this week that he and the other Town players were unlikely to hear the end of it for some time.
Norwood has, shall we say, a tendency to take to social media on a regular basis and, sure enough, within minutes of netting what he rated as his best goal ever he wasted no time in announcing it to the world. However, just one problem – the lack of video evidence to back up his extravagant claim.
Nolan laughed: “As soon as he did it I looked at Searsy and I said ‘Out of ten, how gutted do you think he is that there are no cameras present to record it?’
“Honestly, if there had been a video I’m convinced the first thing he’d have done was head off to the changing rooms and stick it straight on every social media platform out there.
“Later on Searsy sent me a screenshot of his tweet. But it was absolutely crazy what happened. You had to be there but the ball’s been whipped in and he’s done like a somersault and back-heeled it into the top bin.
“Yes, I’ll give him that one. To be fair to him he’s not talking it up and he wasn’t lying. We’ve got to give him that one.”
The ex-Tranmere striker netted 11 goals in his first season with Town but his first of an even more injury-plagued second season came in the recent FA Cup first round defeat – after extra time – by Portsmouth and Town fans will be as delighted as boss Paul Lambert when Norwood is fit enough to return and contribute regularly.
“There’s no question Nors has had a bit of a tough time with injuries this season,” added Nolan. “But when he gets up to speed we all know what a threat he can be – both him and Kayden [Jackson] have definitely been missed.”
Nolan, who was absent from the league games against Crewe, Gillingham and Sunderland through suspension, admitted teams are doing their best to counter Town’s 4-3-3 formation and possession-based style of play this season.
He added: “We’ve come up against sides this season that have let us play out from the back and set up a low block, which can be tough.
“That’s why, when you’re watching a game, it looks like we’re just keeping the ball at the back, keeping the ball at the back (sic) and trying to find an opening.
“That’s when you do have to be patient because there is so little space in behind. It has happened on numerous occasions but we have found a way to score a goal, while there have also been times when it hasn’t worked for us and that’s why we have to keep working hard on it on the training ground.”
Asked about how it feels to be playing in front of empty stands because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Nolan said: “It was very strange for the first few weeks but it’s been a while now and we’ve started to get used to it I think.
“I saw a game on the telly last week and there were fans in the stadium and I can’t remember the last time I saw that in the Premier League. It’s crazy, to be honest.”
And his feelings on the EFL decision to permit the use of five substitutes, rather than three, for the remainder of the current campaign? “From a player’s point of view, we all want to play every single minute,” he said.
“But it obviously gives the manager more options and especially when he gets the injured players back fully-fit again. It’s got to be a benefit for him because he can make more changes and bring on quality replacements as and when he thinks it is necessary.”
Nolan, who has never tried to hide the fact that he is a born and bred Liverpool fan, admitted the celebrations were subdued when his favourites ended their 30-year wait for a top-flight title in the summer.
He grinned: “It was just a quiet one because the baby was only a few months old at the time. I was probably just changing nappies. Fatherhood is tough but it’s also the best.”
Photo: Matchday Images
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