Not the easiest game for the Shrimpers in their current form but let's all try to get in the mood for the trip to Carrow Road on Tuesday, February 23rd; kick-off 19.45. v SHRIMPERS Even though most of us have been feeling that Franck has deserved a rest for months now I actually felt it came at the wrong time and I would have dropeed Christophe.However, he has other problems out wide.Francis Laurent, from becoming the guy that can surprise everyone, even his own team-mates, has become a liabilty, he was that bad against MK Saturday.On the other wing Watt looks out his depth, now that could be beacuse he's not sure whether it's him or Damien Scannell who should be out wide left, whatever, he has not performed so far, but appreciate early days.So, for me, Franck should be back in the middle against Norwich, we still let in three even with the 'tougher' midfield', Christophe dropped.Scannel starts on the right for the dropped Laurent, it might clear his brain.Watt is told to stay left of midfield with license to join the front three.Of which, I would start with Vernon and Paterson in the centre.Vernon did have an awful afternoon in front of goal but did a lot of hard work, winning a few high balls that were knocked on to, nobody! At least young Matt will give him someone to aim at.A touch attacking, well why not. If we try and defend at Carrow Road we'll lose 3-0, we might as well attack and hope the chances, that will be created, start to go in. In fact, I'll start with just one going in! Possible Southend United: Mildenhall, Francis, Baldwin, Barrett, Malone, Laurent, McCormack, Christophe, Vernon, Watt, Moussa. Subs: Bentley, Sankofa, Herd, M'Voto, Scannell, Spencer, Paterson.OPPOSITION Chief Canary Paul Lambert will wait to here if the club's appeal against Darel Russell's red card for a high challenge, the FA should annonunce their decision hours before the game, has been successful before naming his side. Stephen Hughes is ready to step in should the midfielder miss out. Defender Jens Berthel Askou is fit after a foot injury and may get a recall but left-back Adam Drury remains out with a thigh injury.American born defender Zak Whitbread (calf) and striker Cody McDonald (thigh) are definitely not in the squad.1Norwich City 321222371784430182066673566+322Leeds United 311051301184323141894532563+283Colchester United 321312271457422171886493162+184Charlton Athletic 3210513317673231816124563560+21Oh yea, Charlton on Friday!Last Time out: Norwich City 0 Southampton 2The Red Card Comedy Club meets regularly at Carrow Road, so we can only assume referee Russell Booth was auditioning for a slot on Saturday."What do you do when you see Darel Russell raise his right boot and accidentally catch an opponent who appears out of nowhere? You send him off anyway."Cue mayhem, a chorus of boos and much shaking of heads as Booth's joke falls flat on its face.Even if Booth's timing had been better, the punchline was still rubbish. When he showed a straight red - for a challenge on Morgan Schneiderlin as the midfielder came up on Russell's blindside - City were enjoying their best spell of a match from which they deserved nothing. But it begs a question: what might have happened if Russell had stayed on?A week earlier, at Brighton, City weren't up to much. Brighton were ahead, and deservedly so, but City fought back, got better and scored twice in the last 10 minutes to pick up a valuable three points.Had City's little spell just before the hour mark on Saturday continued, with 11 men, who's to say what might have happened? Instead of losing their first home league game since THAT game against Colchester on the opening day, we could be talking about a six-point lead over Leeds. But we're talking about a defeat - and no one knows how it will affect City over the coming weeks when, don't forget, they have a three-game run that takes in Huddersfield and Swindon away and Leeds at home.And if City fail in their appeal against Russell's red card, it means he will be out for at least three games - the FA can add another if they feel an appeal is frivolous. If they do either, then we might as well all go home.Even if they see City's side of it, rather than Booth's unfunny side, it's a bit too late: we have a lost 30 minutes, the points have gone to Southampton and we're talking about a three-point gap to Leeds who have a game in hand, and four over Colchester, who are now looking like the most likely side to prevent a two-horse race.It all suggests that perhaps the presence of an official with a video camera might have made a difference. Had Booth seen a replay of the incident you feel he would have had a change of mind. But he can't. And, yes, Mr and Mrs Referee, he is only human and we all make mistakes. Except he's paid not to.The worry for City fans is whether their team are going to suffer the sort of blip that has affected Leeds and Charlton. Leeds could be home and dry by now, but they've taken just seven points out of their last 24. Charlton have lost half of their points in eight games this year, while Colchester have won four out of their last five and taken 17 points out of a possible 27 in 2010.Norwich? They've got 21 points from 27 - but only three from the last nine. Is it a two-game blip or is it the start of squeaky bum time?City haven't played particularly well in the six games since winning 5-0 at Colchester, although it's hard to be too critical given that they won four of them - and in those games they were often the better side.That wasn't the case on Saturday and Paul Lambert was quick to acknowledge that they fell short of what was required against a good side who, if they don't make the play-offs this year, look certain to be in the mix next year when they won't have the weight of a 10-point penalty hanging around their necks.It was billed as the battle of the hot-shots, but City's front two were left out in the cold, as Lee Barnard took centre stage (when Mr Booth wasn't occupying it).City started well, coming out of the traps quickly, but failing to find the early breakthrough. Saints were quick - quick to pass the ball, quick to shut City down - and after the early jabs, started to send in some heavy bombs to unsettle their hosts.Jason Puncheon was a danger on the right, cutting inside on his favoured left foot, although Adam Lallana wasn't as effective as he had been in the previous contests down on the south coast.The width Southampton employed contrasted with City's: theirs was on the bench in the shape of Anthony McNamee and you wonder if Grant Holt and Chris Martin are relishing the opportunity to get on to the end of some of his whipped-in crosses from open play. His inclusion from the start would likely mean a change of formation as well as staffing: perhaps Paul Lambert's policy of sticking with a winning side might be tested after recent events. Perhaps there is an argument that, for every bead of sweat they have contributed to the cause, there might be some tiredness in the heads and legs of some of those who haven't had a break since Lambert took charge 29 games ago. An over-hit free-kick here, a heavy pass there - it just didn't work for City on Saturday. And while Saints were forcing them into mistakes, they struck.Goal one came on 33 minutes, when Rickie Lambert's long-range free-kick came down off the underside of the bar. City players dozed, Saints players appealed for a goal - except Barnard, who guided the ball into the bottom corner with his head. Gary Doherty claimed a push on Michael Nelson - too half-heartedly to be considered seriously. Never mind - the team that has scored first in City's previous four matches had gone on to lose. The difference being, of course, that it was 11 v 11 each time.Nelson forced Kelvin Davis into his first save at the start of the second half - although Puncheon was denied by Fraser Forster in a one-on-one as Saints broke - and the former Ipswich stopper did well to tip a deflected Korey Smith shot on to his bar soon after.City's struggle for fluency became an uphill battle just after the hour mark when the match official started to get card happy, producing the straight red to Russell who raised his boot as he tried to guide the ball to a team-mate, only to see Schneiderlin suddenly appear and take the collateral damage.Jon Otsemobor, producing arguably his best performance at Carrow Road, almost set up Lallana for a second when he managed to make it into nose bleed country and slipped the ball to his team-mate who skipped Michael Rose's challenge but then hit the right-hand post.A minute later, Lallana hit the same post, and very possibly the exact same spot, with a curler from the left side of the area after the City defence had practically given over one side of their penalty area to Southampton. City were on the rack and on 77 minutes they were sliced open. Puncheon got into the area on the right, Rose and Russell Martin couldn't stop him and he pulled the ball back for the unmarked Barnard to slide it home from 11 yards.Chris Martin went close at the end, Holt headed one which Davis scooped up easily, but City fell short of a club record-equalling 12th consecutive home win and for only the second time in the league this season, failed to score. The other occasion was at home to Walsall in September. The referee? Mr R Booth (Notts).Norwich City: Forster, Nelson, R. Martin, Doherty, Rose, Lappin, Smith, Russell, Hoolahan, C. Martin, Holt.Subs: Rudd, Gill, Hughes, Spillane, McVeigh, McNamee, Johnson. Southampton: Davis, Otsemobor, Jaidi, Fonte, Harding, Hammond, Puncheon, Schneiderlin, Lallana, Barnard, Lambert.Subs: Bialkowski, Thomas, Wotton, Holmes, Seaborne, Antonio, Papa Waigo. Referee: Mr. R. Booth Attendance 25,103. (Report by Chris Lakey at www.edp24.co.uk) PREVIOUSLYAt Norwich City (31)At Southend Utd. (32) ResultsTotal% ResultsTotal% Norwich City1445.16 Southend Utd.1650.00 Southend Utd.825.81 Norwich City618.75 Draws929.03 Draws1031.25 GoalsTotalAv.pg GoalsTotalAv.pg Norwich City501.61 Southend Utd.581.81 Southend Utd.361.16 Norwich City361.13On Neutral Ground (0)Overall (63 matches) ResultsTotal% ResultsTotal% Norwich City00.00 Norwich City2031.75 Southend Utd.00.00 Southend Utd.2438.10 Draws00.00 Draws1930.16 GoalsTotalAv.pg GoalsTotalAv.pg Norwich City00.00 Norwich City861.37 Southend Utd.00.00 Southend Utd.941.49Records Highest Aggregate9Norwich City 7 - 2 Southend Utd.1955/1956 Highest Norwich City score:7Norwich City 7 - 2 Southend Utd.1955/1956 Highest Southend Utd. score:5Norwich City 1 - 5 Southend Utd.1946/1947 SeasonDateHomeScoreAwayCompetition 2009/2010Tue 01 DecSouthend Utd.0 - 3Norwich CityLeague One 2006/2007Tue 26 DecNorwich City0 - 0Southend Utd.Championship Tue 12 SepSouthend Utd.3 - 3Norwich CityChampionship 1996/1997Tue 25 FebSouthend Utd.1 - 1Norwich CityLeague Division One Sat 14 SepNorwich City0 - 0Southend Utd.League Division One 1995/1996Sat 02 MarSouthend Utd.1 - 1Norwich CityLeague Division One Tue 26 DecNorwich City0 - 1Southend Utd.League Division One 1959/1960Wed 27 AprNorwich City4 - 3Southend Utd.Third Division Mon 05 OctSouthend Utd.1 - 0Norwich CityThird Division 1958/1959Sat 03 JanNorwich City4 - 0Southend Utd.Third Division Sat 30 AugSouthend Utd.1 - 0Norwich CityThird Division 1957/1958Wed 04 SepNorwich City0 - 2Southend Utd.Third Division (South) Wed 28 AugSouthend Utd.5 - 2Norwich CityThird Division (South) 1956/1957Sat 22 DecNorwich City1 - 2Southend Utd.Third Division (South) Sat 25 AugSouthend Utd.0 - 0Norwich CityThird Division (South) 1955/1956Sat 17 DecNorwich City7 - 2Southend Utd.Third Division (South) Sat 20 AugSouthend Utd.3 - 1Norwich CityThird Division (South) 1954/1955Mon 27 DecNorwich City3 - 3Southend Utd.Third Division (South) Sat 25 DecSouthend Utd.4 - 1Norwich CityThird Division (South) 1953/1954Sat 31 OctSouthend Utd.5 - 2Norwich CityThird Division (South) Wed 19 AugNorwich City1 - 0Southend Utd.Third Division (South) 1952/1953Sat 14 MarNorwich City3 - 1Southend Utd.Third Division (South) Sat 25 OctSouthend Utd.1 - 2Norwich CityThird Division (South) 1951/1952Wed 02 AprNorwich City1 - 0Southend Utd.Third Division (South) Sat 10 NovSouthend Utd.2 - 1Norwich CityThird Division (South) 1950/1951Sat 07 AprSouthend Utd.0 - 2Norwich CityThird Division (South) Sat 18 NovNorwich City3 - 0Southend Utd.Third Division (South) 1949/1950Sat 29 AprNorwich City0 - 0Southend Utd.Third Division (South) Sat 11 FebSouthend Utd.1 - 0Norwich CityThird Division (South) 1948/1949Mon 27 DecSouthend Utd.2 - 2Norwich CityThird Division (South) Sat 25 DecNorwich City3 - 0Southend Utd.Third Division (South) 1947/1948Sat 10 AprNorwich City1 - 0Southend Utd.Third Division (South) Sat 22 NovSouthend Utd.0 - 0Norwich CityThird Division (South) 1946/1947Sat 08 MarSouthend Utd.3 - 0Norwich CityThird Division (South) Sat 02 NovNorwich City1 - 5Southend Utd.Third Division (South) 1933/1934Sat 28 AprSouthend Utd.0 - 0Norwich CityThird Division (South) Sat 16 DecNorwich City0 - 0Southend Utd.Third Division (South) 1932/1933Tue 27 DecNorwich City1 - 0Southend Utd.Third Division (South) Mon 26 DecSouthend Utd.2 - 1Norwich CityThird Division (South) 1931/1932Sat 05 MarSouthend Utd.2 - 0Norwich CityThird Division (South) Sat 24 OctNorwich City1 - 1Southend Utd.Third Division (South) 1930/1931Sat 28 MarSouthend Utd.2 - 0Norwich CityThird Division (South) Sat 22 NovNorwich City0 - 1Southend Utd.Third Division (South) 1929/1930Sat 15 FebNorwich City1 - 1Southend Utd.Third Division (South) Sat 12 OctSouthend Utd.1 - 1Norwich CityThird Division (South) 1928/1929Sat 16 FebSouthend Utd.5 - 3Norwich CityThird Division (South) Sat 06 OctNorwich City2 - 5Southend Utd.Third Division (South) 1927/1928Sat 11 FebSouthend Utd.1 - 1Norwich CityThird Division (South) Sat 01 OctNorwich City2 - 1Southend Utd.Third Division (South) 1926/1927Sat 19 FebSouthend Utd.3 - 3Norwich CityThird Division (South) Sat 02 OctNorwich City1 - 1Southend Utd.Third Division (South) 1925/1926Sat 23 JanNorwich City1 - 2Southend Utd.Third Division (South) Sat 12 SepSouthend Utd.0 - 1Norwich CityThird Division (South) 1924/1925Tue 14 AprNorwich City0 - 1Southend Utd.Third Division (South) Sat 04 AprSouthend Utd.0 - 1Norwich CityThird Division (South) 1923/1924Sat 26 JanSouthend Utd.3 - 1Norwich CityThird Division (South) Sat 19 JanNorwich City3 - 1Southend Utd.Third Division (South) 1922/1923Sat 30 SepSouthend Utd.3 - 1Norwich CityThird Division (South) Sat 23 SepNorwich City2 - 1Southend Utd.Third Division (South) 1921/1922Sat 08 AprNorwich City1 - 1Southend Utd.Third Division (South) Sat 01 AprSouthend Utd.0 - 1Norwich CityThird Division (South) 1920/1921Sat 30 AprSouthend Utd.3 - 1Norwich CityThird Division Sat 23 AprNorwich City3 - 1Southend Utd.Third Division GROUNDCarrow Road has been virtually re-built since the early 1980's, with all four sides of the ground having new stands. The newest of these is the Jarrold South Stand at one side of the pitch which was opened in 2004. It is an impressive looking cantilever, single tier, all seated stand, that can house up to 8,000 supporters. It is unusual in having not one, but three separate television gantries suspended beneath its largely perspex roof. This stand was further extended in 2005 and now surrounds the corner of the ground where it joins the Norwich & Peterborough Stand, 'filling in' that area. The rest of the ground is also all seated and all stands are covered. Both ends look particularly smart, being large two tiered affairs, complete with a row of executive boxes. They also have a pair of large floodlight pylons protruding from their roof. On the remaining side is the Geoffrey Watling City Stand. This single tiered stand is smaller than both ends and houses amongst other things the Directors Box and Press Area. This stand extends around to meet the ends at both corners, giving the ground an enclosed look on that side. Away fans are housed on one side of the new South Stand, on one side of the ground. As you would expect from a new stand the facilities and view of the playing action are good. The normal allocation in this area is 2,500 fans although this can be increased further for cup games. If you are located at the very back of this stand then you can enjoy some fine views across the city, including Norwich Cathedral. As Delia Smith is on the board of Norwich City, the food available within the ground has been spruced up a fair bit and is very good. The Club even bake their own pies which not only include the usual array such as steak & kidney, chicken & mushroom, but also a number of 'matchday specials', (which change from game to game), such as beef in red wine gravy & cheese, mushroom and garlic. (Ground information supplied by www.footballgroundguide.com)WEATHERStarting at 4c's, sinking to a mere 1c by the game, should keep dry though. REFThe man in the middle is Graham Horwood from Luton. He gives an interview here: www.refworld.com/referee/143/1/graham-horwood FIXTURES Tuesday, February 23rd; (all kick-offs 19.45): Charlton v Brighton, Colchester v Brentford, Exeter v Bristol Rovers, Gillingham v Leyton Orient, Hartlepool v Carlisle, Leeds United v Oldham, MK Dons v Millwall, Norwich v Southend, Swindon v Stockport, Tranmere v Huddersfield, Walsall v Yeovil, Wycombe v Southampton.Friday, February 26th; Southend v Charlton, 19:45. Saturday, February 27th; (all kick-offs 15.00 unless stated): Brentford v Tranmere, Brighton v Exeter, Bristol Rovers v Colchester, Carlisle v Gillingham, Huddersfield v Leeds (12:30), Leyton Orient v Swindon, Millwall v Hartlepool, Oldham v Norwich, Southampton v Walsall, Stockport v Wycombe, Yeovil v MK Dons.BETTo Win:MK Dons - 4/9, Draw - 7/2, Southend - 29/4. Fair to say, we're not fancied, so go on, must be worth a couple of quid!For all the footy odds go here: www.oddschecker.com/football/english TRANSPORTBy Train go here: www.southendunited-mad.co.uk/feat/edw5/norwich_475694/index.shtmlBy Car go here: www.southendunited-mad.co.uk/feat/edw7/norwich_450461/index.shtmlBy Coach go here: www.southendunited-mad.co.uk/feat/edw3/norwich_city_450410/index.shtml PUBS AND PIESFor the best drinking hostelries, and there's plenty of choiceclose to stadium and station, go here: HISTORY The history of Norwich City F.C. stretches back to 1902. After a brief period in amateur football, the club spent 15 years as a semi-professional team in the Southern League before admission to The Football League in 1920. For most of the next 50 years, Norwich sat in Division Three (South), then the joint lowest tier of the football league, a period that was distinguished by "a thrilling giant-killing sequence which took them to the FA Cup semi-finals" in 1959. Shortly afterwards, the club won its first major trophy, the 1962 League Cup. Norwich finally reached the pinnacle of the league structure in 1972, with their first promotion to the top tier.Since then, The Canaries has acquired a reputation as a "yo-yo club", with 21 seasons in the top league and 15 in the second and in this period they picked up their second major trophy, the League Cup in 1985, reached two more FA Cup semi finals, finished fifth, fourth and third in the top division and beat Bayern Munich in the UEFA Cup. In the course of its history, Norwich City has survived a number of incidents that threatened its survival, including ousting from amateur football, the need to be re-elected to The Football League and financial crises. Geoffrey Watling, who was to become club Chairman and after whom a stand at the club's stadium, Carrow Road is named, was instrumental in saving the club from bankruptcy, both in the 1950s and 1990s; his father had played a similar role in 1919.On October 30th 2007, former Newcastle United boss Glenn Roeder was confirmed as the new manager. Roeder released a number of players, largely replacing them with inexperienced loan signings. Results improved enormously, lifting the club from five points adrift at the foot of the table to a comfortable mid-table position.On January 14, 2009, it was announced that Roeder had been relieved of his first team duties after sixty games in charge of the club, and just twenty victories. Norwich City were relegated to the third tier of English league football (League One), a level the club had not played at since 1960, on the final day of the 2008-09 Championship season.Norwich started their League One campaign on August 8, 2009 at home to fellow East Anglians Colchester United. They were widely expected to return swiftly to the Championship, however they suffered a shock 1-7 defeat. This was their worst home defeat in their 107 year history, beating the previous record, a 1-6 loss to Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic (now A.F.C. Bournemouth) in 1946. The supporters displeasure was obvious with pre-season expectations being unsacrimoniously crushed, and at 4-0 down after just 22 minutes, two fans entered the pitch and ripped up their season tickets! Manager and Norwich legend Bryan Gunn was sacked six days later.It was announced on 18 August 2009 that Paul Lambert would become the new manager, leaving his post at Colchester, and the club have certainly progressed under his stewardship.For a far more comprehensive history of the club, go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Norwich_City_F.C.