Football: Norwich's belief is key to beating Bayern: Walker believes German incentives will count for nothing at Carrow Road tonight. Trevor Haylett reports

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The Independent Online
AN AWFUL lot of deutschmarks rest on the outcome of tonight's Uefa Cup tie at Carrow Road. Bayern Munich, unaccustomed as they are at having to fight their way back into a European tie, are on DM20,000 a man (pounds 8,000) to win through but the currency that talks loudest is goals and in that regard Norwich, thanks to their handiwork in the Olympic Stadium, are nicely in pocket.

In addition, their manager Mike Walker says the acclaim that followed their 2-1 victory a fortnight ago has given them the belief needed to complete the job. He cited a boxing analogy yesterday to explain why it is his team and not the aristocrats from the Bundesliga who will still be standing after the second round is concluded.

'I've noticed in training an extra confidence about the players since the first game,' he said. 'It's like the champion boxer. He has a lot of fights in his career but once he beats the top man he seems to have a special awe about him.'

Three hard-fought draws after Munich have kept Norwich on the right lines and successive visits to Highbury provided ideal preparation for the expected Bayern backlash. Not that Walker is thinking in defensive terms.

'Although we have defended well this year that is not our strength and it is not in my nature to sit on a lead. If we can get an early goal then it gives them a very difficult task.'

That is why Walker is keen to pair Chris Sutton with another striker and why, with Efan Ekoku and Mark Robins injured, he was mulling over a number of permutations last night. John Polston, now recovered from an abdominal strain, is likely to be preferred to Spencer Prior.

English pride, at rock bottom after the World Cup defeat in Rotterdam, was partially restored thanks to Norwich's Welsh goalscorers, Jeremy Goss and Mark Bowen, and their Scottish goalkeeper, Bryan Gunn. He rates his late save from Adolfo Valencia as one of the most crucial of his career and trusts that will still be the case at 9pm tonight.

'After that win we had letters of congratulation from supporters of all clubs wishing us good luck for the return,' Gunn said. 'It showed how much it meant to people everywhere.'

Carrow Road is ready and waiting, a 22,000 capacity boosted by 1,000 newly installed seats. There is live television and Franz Beckenbauer, a Bayern vice-president and German World Cup winning captain, is in town. Walker expects, however, to have the last word. 'To be able to say that you have knocked Bayern Munich out of the Uefa Cup certainly has a nice ring about it.'

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