Worthington in desperate need of goalscoring solution

Norwich City 1 - Blackburn Rovers 1
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The Independent Online

Things are getting increasingly tight at the bottom of the Premiership table. More teams are getting sucked down into the relegation battle and though they talked a good game afterwards, there were no obvious signs from either of these sides that they have the ability to make a break for survival.

Things are getting increasingly tight at the bottom of the Premiership table. More teams are getting sucked down into the relegation battle and though they talked a good game afterwards, there were no obvious signs from either of these sides that they have the ability to make a break for survival.

Blackburn remain bottom, but took heart from winning their first away point of the season and coming back from a goal down with 10 men. Norwich, one place above them, boosted their ego by going within four minutes of their first victory and by adding to their tally of seven draws from their 11 previous games.

Norwich took a deserved lead through Mathias Svensson early in the second half after the Blackburn striker Jay Bothroyd had been sent off for kicking out at Mattias Jonson just before the break. But Norwich got nervous with victory in sight and Blackburn were good value for a point when Paul Dickov equalised in the 86th minute.

"It felt as if we lost. It was a real sickener," admitted the impressive Norwich defender Craig Fleming. "We got 95 per cent of the way there. We were cruising at one-nil and should have killed the game off.

"It's another draw, but we keep going. Of our four defeats three have come against some of the top teams in the country in Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United. We're competing every time and are not getting thumped like Wolves were last season."

The Norwich manager, Nigel Worthington, recognised the need for more positive play and will attempt to buy at least a new striker in the winter transfer window. He needs a goalscorer and has expressed an interest in Ipswich's highly rated Darren Bent, but knows there are bigger and wealthier clubs than Norwich also in the hunt.

Mark Hughes knows all about goalscoring. He also had a competitive streak and that is possibly why he was soft on Bothroyd, who needlessly claimed Blackburn's fourth sending-off the season - the worst record in the top flight.

"I won't be too harsh on him because the last time I played at Carrow Road I got sent off," Hughes explained. "I'm just pleased by the way we fought back from that setback to finish the better team."

The Blackburn goalscorer Dickov, like Bothroyd, came through the ranks at Arsenal before finding his talents were more appropriate to other clubs. He also said Bothroyd was not to blame and pointed out how Rovers have become more resilient under Hughes.

He said: "The last thing we wanted to do was lose and we can take a lot of confidence from the way we fought back. The last time we went down to 10 men and conceded a goal we caved in, but we handled it a lot better this time and I think we can be positive about our future."

Goals: Svensson 56 (1-0), Dickov 86 (1-1).

Norwich (4-4-2): Green; Edworthy, Fleming, Charlton, Drury; Jonson (Henderson, 45), Holt, Francis, Huckerby; McKenzie (McVeigh, 79), Svensson Substitutes not used: Ward (gk), Mulryne, Helveg.

Blackburn (4-4-2): Friedel; Neill, Todd, Johansson, McEveley; Emerton, Tugay (Flitcroft, 73), Ferguson, Reid; Dickov (Stead, 90), Bothroyd. Substitutes not used: Enckelman (gk), Thompson, Douglas.

Referee: S Dunn (Bristol).

Booked: Norwich: Jonson. Sent Off: Blackburn: Bothroyd 44.

Man of the match: Fleming.

Attendance: 23,834.

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