Sheffield Wednesday are the first visitors to Carrow Road, so Jon Rogers spoke to Terry Hibberd, an Owls fan and writer, about heads exploding, crying in London, bond villains and how he will never, ever forgive Chris Woods
Jon: So, second day of the season already! Comes round quick doesn't it? Wednesday beat Aston Villa, which was a great result for you, plus you made the Villa owner, Dr Evil, turn even more into a Bond villain than I thought was humanly possible. You must be cautiously optimistic about the season?
Terry: He obviously was stroking his white cat this week plotting revenge for that defeat, so he stopped Joe Bennett from returning to us, pulling the plug when everything was seemingly done with that deal. But… I like those three points we got last weekend.
We were cautiously optimistic anyway to be honest. After last season when we hit heights arguably no one expected, we've kept the core of the team and although we still need a couple more players, we're much stronger as a unit.
Jon: It was a surprise, I have to be honest. But you've got decent investment, nothing too crazy, but enough to make you rise towards the top. You’ve bought Steven Fletcher, who Norwich were linked with, but last game he used his forehead to tackle a Villa player and it exploded. Will he be fit?
Terry: According to our head coach, Carlos Carvalhal, yes he will be fit. That head wound was a bit of a shocker, there was blood all over the place, and it could be seen pouring out of his head from in the stand. We've only seen 20 minutes or so of him so far but he looked like he could be a real coup.
Jon: I could see him mouthing to the medical team ‘IS THE HAIR OK? IS IT?’. What a shame. I was looking forward to seeing Gary Hooper wobble around the pitch instead. Hoops is an odd one. He never got a run in the team at Norwich. Someone people think he was the second coming, others an overweight liability. Our manager, Alex Neil, likes busy runners and he isn’t one, so he was never going to stay.
What’s been your opinion of his move?
Terry: Hooper had a slow start at Wednesday. Some people suggested he was unfit, others weren't so sure about him. But once he started scoring that all changed, and you could see his confidence bloom and he played really well as a result. As you say he's not the most athletic in terms of being all over the place but he has a great touch and awareness.
It wouldn't surprise me to see him play this weekend – we do change our side game by game. I rate him: he knows where the goal is and although he can be selfish in front of goal, it’s not a bad trait when a very significant proportion of your shots are on target.
Jon: Who's your one player Norwich should be glad is playing? Basically, who's your OH GOD NOT HIM?
Terry: It’s hard to choose any of the regular starters for that definition. And I don't like to bash the players as I'm naturally optimistic and supportive, but if you were to take a broad-brush view across the supporters then it would probably be striker Atdhe Nuhiu.
He's a huge unit of a bloke, is capable of some fantastic stuff, the players and coaching staff love him. He's such a team player but... here's the but... he has a good game or a terrible one. There's no in between. He missed from almost underneath the crossbar on Tuesday night, he hit the bar and it went over. Some may say it showed skill to do that, but it didn't keep us in the Cup [Wednesday lost 2-1 at Cambridge]!
Jon: Cups are rubbish anyway. Talking of being dumped out, your play-off final must have been heart-breaking. I was at Wembley when Norwich won the previous season, I don't think I could have handled a loss. So… talking of Norwich, and Wednesday losing at Wembley, did you know the Owls were the catalyst of changing Norwich's history? Without you losing twice to Arsenal at Wembo in 1993 – in the FA Cup and League Cup – Norwich wouldn't have got into Europe and played Bayern Munich etc.
So, basically, there WAS something nice to come from you losing twice in 1993…
Terry: Well, I certainly can't remember anything nice about 1993. I was there for all of our four visits [semi-final, final and final replay in the FA Cup, and the League Cup final]. At 18, as I was then, it was horrible. But no… I didn't cry as it wasn't the thing to do, but I was gutted.
All I can think of when I look back to those finals is Steve Morrow being dropped during the celebrations – that was funny – and Chris Woods. Why did you try to catch that Andy Linighan header??? That REALLY infuriates me to this day. I do remember your game against Bayern the following season though...
Jon: Yeah, you cried. Def cried. Thank you though. So Saturday. 5.30pm. What do you think of your chances? Who are you most fearful of?
Terry: I think if we take something back to Yorkshire it will be a good result. I'm more fearful of Norwich as a team than probably any other side in the division. Although you've been relegated you've maintained what looks like the majority of your team from the Premier League and added wisely. Sergi Canós is a great prospect and Cameron Jerome always seems to annoy the hell out of us. Alex Pritchard is a good signing and I like Alex Tettey, he's powerful midfielder. You've got some strong players, more than capable of playing at a higher level.
Jon: Interesting you named Canós, who couldn’t get on the bench on Saturday. We were expecting him to play a big part this season. Finally, I went to Hillsborough two seasons ago, and only thing I can remember is you have an awesome club shop and a weird bit to the side that had the atmosphere me of a multi-storey car park. It was good! Have you been Carrow Road before? If so, any instant thoughts?
Terry: I like Carrow Road, I've a few happy memories of watching the Wednesday there. It's still what I call a 'proper' stadium. Four-sided, not a Lego out-of-a-box, affair like so many seem to be these days. And it’s decent for some beers beforehand around the city too. The only thing I don't like about a trip to your home is if you're driving, the A17 is soul-destroying when you get stuck behind a tractor for miles.
Jon: Oh that’s a hobby in the east. Follow the big-wheeled dirty limousine and, of course, pointing at planes. So, hit me with it. Score prediction?
Terry: Heart says we'll nick a win but head says an entertaining 1-1 draw.
Jon: Thanks! I'm going 2-1 Nodge.