Bullish Nugent has that Wembley feeling again
Norwich 1 Leicester 2
Monday 20 February 2012
David Nugent believes Leicester City have a realistic chance of reaching a first FA Cup final in 43 years. The Leicester striker won a winners' medal with Portsmouth in 2008 and scored the winner against Norwich on Saturday.
Nugent said: "I don't want to be greedy but I don't see why we can't get to the FA Cup final now. Another game and we are at Wembley in the semis.
"When I was at Portsmouth we played Manchester United and beat them 1-0. When you get that buzz of beating a big team you think you can go on and get to the final. I'm starting to get that feeling again at Leicester. We're enjoying our football and it showed."
Nugent's winner in the 2-1 victory at Carrow Road was the coollest of finishes from a striker who, following his lone England cap in 2008, was loaned out to Burnley before joining Leicester in the Championship last year.
In stark contrast to the fate of Portsmouth, who have entered administration for a second time, things appear to have turned round for the 26-year-old Liverpool lad. His strike against Norwich was his 13th of the season. He said: "It was a great goal. I have a lot of confidence. Ever since I've come back from Burnley I've grown in confidence. I've got 13 goals and I'm looking for 20.
"They put us under a lot of pressure but we held out well and we deserved it. I hope this can be a kick-on for our season. The fans were awesome. The Cup is a special competition. They sang their hearts out and pulled us through the last 10 minutes."
Nugent's big pal at Leicester is Sean St Ledger, who scored the opening goal with a superb header. The Norwich captain, Wes Hoolahan, equalised, stabbing home the rebound after his spot-kick was saved by Kasper Schmeichel following the Leicester goalkeeper's clumsy challenge on Elliott Bennett.
Norwich had only themselves to blame for the defeat, however, after making four changes from the team which beat Swansea City away in the Premier League the week before, including leaving out their leading scorer Grant Holt and first-choice goalkeeper John Ruddy.
Their manager, Paul Lambert, was unrepentant, preferring to concentrate on a Premier League campaign in which his side have risen to eighth in the table, within sight of survival.
Lambert said: "It will be a blessing in disguise if we stay in the league. No one would pat us on the back if we got to the quarter-finals of the Cup and got relegated. I picked a team I thought would win and that's my fault. We never performed and Leicester deserved to go through. Good luck to them."
Norwich: STEER 6/10; R MARTIN 7; BARNETT 6; WARD 6; DRURY 6; BENNETT 6; HOOLAHAN 6; FOX 5; PILKINGTON 6; MORISON 5; JACKSON 5
Leicester: SCHMEICHEL 7; KENNEDY 6; ST LEDGER 6; MORGAN 6; PELTIER 6; DYER 7; WELLENS 6; DANNS 7; MARSHALL 7; BECKFORD 7; NUGENT 7
Scorers: Norwich City Hoolahan 23. Leicester City St Ledger 5, Nugent 71.
Substitutes: Norwich Wilbraham 6 (Morison, 62), Vaughan 6 (Jackson, 62), Johnson (Fox, 78). Leicester Konchesky 7 (Kennedy, 66), Delfouneso 6 (Marshall, 66).
Booked: Norwich Ward. Leicester Morgan.
Man of the match Nugent. Match rating 7/10.
Possession: Norwich 44% Leicester 56%.
Attempts on target: Norwich 6 Leicester 6.
Referee M Dean (Wirral). Attendance 26,658.
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