Former Don James Maddison did not feel heartened by Chelsea resting several of their star names and insists his Norwich side deserve “a pat on the back” after a goalless draw at Carrow Road.
Blues head coach Antonio Conte made wholesale changes for the FA Cup third-round clash, with only Gary Cahill and Tiemoue Bakayoko surviving from the side that drew at Arsenal in midweek.
However, Conte was still able to call upon the likes of David Luiz, Danny Drinkwater, Willian and Pedro.
So Maddison – who was on-loan at Pittodrie during the first half of last season and memorably scored a free-kick winner against Rangers in September 2016 – feels the Canaries should be proud of their efforts in stifling their visitors.
He said: “They can make a load of changes and still bring in quality like that. It’s never going to be easy, they’re the Premier League champions for a reason and we dug in really well today.
“I think we’ve got to give ourselves a pat on the back, to be honest, we showed great resilience.
“We knew it was going to be tough and when the team sheet comes in and you see the likes of Willian, Pedro and world-class players like that you know it’s going to be a tough afternoon, but we dug in and got the replay.”
Looking ahead to the prospect of the replay at Stamford Bridge, Maddison added: “What an atmosphere that will be! They’re the games we want to be playing in against the top teams and in the top stadiums. We’ll look forward to that one.”
Fellow midfielder Alex Pritchard added: “We’ve been dogged, we’ve been solid, we’ve closed everything down and we’ve worked so hard.”