Norwich City forward Adam Idah says the FA Cup game against Manchester United is just as important as survival in the Premier League, as they approach their game against the Red Devils this Saturday (5:30pm KO).
Idah burst onto the scene in the FA Cup back in January, netting a superb hat-trick on just his second start for the club in the 4-1 third round win over Preston North End. The Irish youth international reflects on that afternoon at Deepdale with fondness.
“It’s probably one of the best days of my football career so far, I thought it was a great day for me. It was obviously my cup debut, so I was quite nervous going into the game.
“The minute I started on the pitch I was fine, all the players helped me through the game and even before they told me ‘there’s no need to be nervous it’s just a game of football.’ They helped me a lot and I was able to do my job on the day, just a great day overall.”
“To be honest, it [his 40-yard screamer] was a bit of a shock to me! It was on my weak foot as well. When I saw the ‘keeper out the goal, I just had to hit it. I could’ve gave it to Onel [Hernandez] again, but I think it was just my instinct to hit it and luckily it went in!”
Last time out against Manchester United the Canaries saw an unfortunate 4-0 loss after goals from Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood. Asked about his time on the pitch, Idah said the experience was ‘every kid’s dream’, despite the result.
“It was unbelievable to play against Man United, it’s every kid’s dream to play in Old Trafford. As I was walking out I could see my family, I could see them sitting there.
“Seeing 70,000 fans singing chants it was an unbelievable memory for me, playing against world class was a great experience.
“The result didn’t go our way, but it’s a great learning curve to see how many top players there are in the league and how good you have to be.
“To go out and play against players like that, it wasn’t a shock, I was just amazed to see the level of players that were there and how good they were.
“It was a great learning curve and for me now, I know that’s the standard you have to be at to play at that level every week. That’s why they’ve stayed in the Premier League for so long and why they’re such a great team.”
Asked about the significance of the cup, Idah says it is just as much of a focus for the team as fighting relegation in the Premier League.
“Of course, we’re fighting relegation in the league, which is something we need to focus on, but it’s just as well for the cup game, we know that we’re still in the cup and we can really go on to progress to the semi-finals and hopefully the finals.
“That’s an aim for the season, everyone understands the importance of it, we’ve got to take it game-by-game.”
You can read more from Adam and much more in the new issue of OTBC for Saturday's game against Manchester United.