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Top 5: First XI costs in Premier League

Transfers 10 hours ago
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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jul 26, 2006

Norwich 1-2 Newcastle: N'Zogbia seals victory

Newcastle continued their pre-season preparations with a comfortable 2-1 win at Championship side Norwich.

• Roeder: No rush to blood Duff

Tonight's match was a testimonial for long-serving Canaries skipper Craig Fleming, the 34-year-old Yorkshireman having spent 10 seasons at the Norfolk club, which included two stints in the Premier League.

Norwich - relegated from the top flight after just one campaign in May 2004 - had started brightly.

There was an early chance for the hosts when Leon McKenzie crossed a low ball into the area just ahead of the advancing Robert Earnshaw.

The visitors may have not included new £5million winger Damien Duff in their squad, but there was still plenty of talent on show, including first-team captain Scott Parker, who once had a loan spell with the Canaries.

McKenzie and Earnshaw soon combined well again to set up the Wales international just inside the area, but his angled shot was too close to Stephen Harper.

Peter Ramage then showed the Norwich striker the way to finish when the left-back, 22, latched on to a loose ball in the six-yard box following Nolberto Solano's right-wing cross to put Newcastle ahead on 21 minutes with his first senior goal.

The visitors could have quickly been 2-0 up but for a flying save from Paul Gallacher to beat away Charles N'Zogbia's 20-yard strike.

Newcastle manager Glenn Roeder made four changes at the start of the second half - with Parker, Solano, Stephen Carr and Titus Bramble all replaced.

Norwich, who begin their Championship campaign at Leeds next weekend, quickly fashioned an opening when McKenzie found Earnshaw on the edge of the box, but he fired over.

Darren Huckerby, once on the books at St James' Park, cut in from the left and forced a smart low save from Harper at his near post.

At the other end, Milner's quick free-kick was deflected on to the woodwork by Norwich defender Jason Shackell.

On 57 minutes, it was 2-0.

Another good delivery from Milner was headed out by Gary Doherty, but fell at the feet of N'Zogbia, who took a touch before drilling the ball left-footed across goal into the roof of the net from 15 yards.

Both sides made several more changes, and tempo of the match, watched by a crowd of 15,305, dropped somewhat.

Norwich reduced the deficit through Paul McVeigh's close-range strike with 16 minutes left as the hosts rallied.

The visitors also created some good chances during the closing stages, with Paul Huntinton heading against the crossbar and Kris Gate forcing a point-blank save from Gallacher before the heavens opened with a flash thunderstorm sweeping around Carrow Road.

Newcastle will next play PSV Eindhoven on Saturday, which is expected to see Duff's debut at St James' Park.

  • Roeder: No rush to blood Duff

    Glenn Roeder felt his Newcastle side had been given a 'good workout' by Norwich in tonight's 2-1 friendly win at Carrow Road - but maintained he would not rush new signing Damien Duff into action unless the winger was ready.

    'Tonight was just what we wanted, particularly for the senior players who have got some more match practice, which is vital. That will set them up nicely for PSV on Saturday,' said Roeder, with Peter Ramage and Charles N'Zogbia on target for the Magpies tonight.

    'I thought it was a good workout for us, and we got some of the young boys on at the end as well.'

    However, the Newcastle manager insisted: 'We are assessing Damien's fitness at the moment. He stayed at home and had three physical sessions today.

    'I am not prepared to risk him on the pitch until I am happy with his physical condition, which might well be Saturday when he could play a part.

    'But if I am not satisfied that he is far enough forward in his fitness programme, then we will wait and be patient.'

    Roeder insists he is not looking to let any of his squad leave during the transfer window, despite reports again linking midfielder James Milner with a move away from St James' Park.

    'Rumours are a daily thing in football - that is all they are,' he said. 'It is not just James, there are rumours about several other of our players. I am trying to add numbers, I do not want to lose any players, we cannot afford to.

    'James has been involved in all three of our pre-season games, is very versatile and so there would be no reason whatsoever for me to want to lose James Milner.

    'But you cannot stop speculation and rumours - it goes with the territory of this football club.'