Monday, November 26, 2012
There were some ominous mutterings around the Norwich City faithful as Everton’s blistering start brought a 12th reward from Steven Naismith.
Earlier in the season, such beginnings would see the Canaries efficiently dispatched – an experience that will be familiar to the Toffees’ Merseyside neighbours Liverpool.
But as the campaign motors on, not only do those initial City frailties drift into history but Chris Hughton’s men continue to prove they are lessons Norwich have learnt.
It is a theory left-back Javier Garrido buys into – a defender whose Spanish forward flair has now delivered two wonderful crosses, two cracking goals and four priceless Premier League points.
“Obviously when you are doing well in the last few games the spirit of the team may be changes things a little bit from before,” said Garrido. “We may be more comfortable and we keep going for the draw (when behind) and even for the win, so maybe that is the main change that has happened and that comes through winning games. So it’s a good time for us now.
“It is not easy to take a point from here. They are a very difficult team. They make the pressure high up the pitch and in the first half they made us feel uncomfortable.
“Maybe the second half we did better and we drew, which is very important for us. It’s a great run so we need to enjoy it and look forward to the next game, which is Southampton. The team spirit is so high that we need to keep going and get that win.”
After teeing up Anthony Pilkington’s famous winner over Manchester United last weekend, it was Garrido’s last minute free-kick that saw Sebastien Bassong nod home City’s late equaliser at Goodison. Both left fans with a Saturday evening smile.
“Yes I am happy – I always to try to help the team and this is a great moment not just for me but for all of my team-mates, so I’m happy for everyone,” added the Spaniard, on a season-long loan from Lazio.
“It’s not easy to play that kind of team, like United, but it’s not easy even to take a point from Goodison Park, so I’m happy for the last few games we have played and today, even though we didn’t play very good football, in the second half we tried to do something more. That it happened is a good thing to take forward to improve.
“Everton are a very difficult team to play against. They have got a high tempo and very good players. Marouane Fellaini (who was suspended) maybe is a very good player for them and he didn’t play today, but they still have great players who can hurt you, so they are a very good team.
“Fellaini is a great player and it was better for us when a player like this is not playing, but I repeat, they still have very good players in their squad so any player can play and do well. To get a point is a very good day for us.”
The feeling of late goals is familiar to Norwich fans, of course – their rise through the leagues glistening with points won from unlikely late scenarios. And although Garrido admitted City’s recent knack was not one he was aware of before Saturday, he knew exactly why it was a useful trait to own.
“I didn’t know that – but that’s our strength, that we never give up and even when we are losing the game we keep going,” he said. “So right now I think we need to keep going with this way and for the next games. We need to work hard and concede fewer goals as much as possible, so right now we have got clean sheets and that is good for the defenders and for the team.
“We need to keep going step by step, and we have not lost for a while, so that is important always to be unbeaten and winning games.”
In a break from the Premier League norm, City return to action quickly with a tricky trip to Southampton on Wednesday evening.
“We know who we are and we have to go with humility,” he added.
“It’s the one thing we have got into our minds, so step by step we will see what’s going to happen. The future it’s difficult to say right now, but we are in a good position.”