Shaka Gets The Job Done

It was business as usual for Shaka Hislop when he stepped in for the injured Roy Carroll at Carrow Road on Saturday.

The 36-year-old goalkeeper was called into action by Alan Pardew after the Northern Ireland international failed to recover from a thigh strain and responded with a typically assured performance in his first appearance since the 1-1 draw at Tottenham Hotspur almost two months ago.

 "I knew the day after the Chelsea game that Roy probably wasn't going to make it, so I had the time to prepare myself," said Shaka. "There was obviously a chance that he might recover, but on Friday he said it wasn't ready, so I got the nod.

"In my situation, you've always got to be ready for the call if it comes and, although I haven't had any match action lately, I've kept myself sharp and worked hard in training.

"I settled back in easier than I expected to be honest. Saying that, I wasn't really troubled too much, and the lads in front of me stayed very solid, so I quite enjoyed the game."

Ironically, Shaka's last FA Cup appearance for the club was also against Spurs, in the quarter-final defeat back in March 2001, and while there may have been slightly less prestige attached to our third round clash at Norwich, he was full of praise for a job well done against Nigel Worthington's team.

"Norwich have been on a good run recently and we were expecting a tough tie, but I thought we did the job well and we're just pleased to be through to the next round now.

"We had some fantastic chances and Marlon came close with a superb effort that hit the post - we really could have been four up by the time they got their penalty.

"It was a little bit closer than it should have been at the end, but I thought we dealt with everything comfortably and it was a thoroughly deserved victory."

Shaka also had a word of sympathy for his Norwich City counterpart Robert Green, who was stretchered off with a neck injury following an accidental collision with Marlon Harewood in the closing moments.

Thankfully, Green was given the all-clear after an X-ray on Saturday evening, and that was a relief to his fellow member of the goalkeepers' union.

"It wasn't nice to see that at the end," said Shaka. "We know how dangerous this position can be at times - you are often throwing yourself into painful situations - and I wish Robert a speedy recovery."