Belief the key as Ryan Bennett hopes he has delivered a shot of unity for Norwich City

Ryan Bennett starts a post-goal huddle as Norwich City celebrate what proved to be the winning goal against Hull on Saturday. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ryan Bennett starts a post-goal huddle as Norwich City celebrate what proved to be the winning goal against Hull on Saturday. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Monday, January 20, 2014
2:30 PM

There was only one topic of Norwich City conversation in the build-up to Saturday’s game – the position of the manager. And only one satisfactory objective for Saturday’s game – to win it. But to settle for that as the sole achievement in beating Hull wouldn’t do things justice.

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There were two characteristics Chris Hughton demanded from his players before kick-off on Saturday: grit and determination. The fact both were there for all to see was one thing but seeing belief sit alongside those all the way through to the 87th and crucial minute underlined a point often made in support of the occasionally stricken Canaries boss – this group of players wants to succeed with Hughton at the helm.

Yet regardless of the pre-match managerial storm, Carrow Road did seem to settle on one thing at the weekend – the knowledge Norwich City desperately needed a win to ensure Premier League safety didn’t start to get any more desperate than it needed to.

That sounds a brash statement – but one look at the table with two points removed from City’s tally might focus the mind. Either way, City will only achieve their goals this season if they stick together. Things have become fraught at times in recent weeks – but this was definitely a collective effort

“I think you’ve seen the players coming out of the dressing room and how happy they are, how much it meant to us, and I think you saw on the pitch how much it meant to us after the goal too,” said Ryan Bennett.

“We’ve got a very tight squad here with a lot of players that get on. Every player knows that we will give 100pc for each other and I think that’s something we’ve proved today, which is a big thing.”

The collective celebration – one that seemed to take on more of a kick-off huddle – wasn’t just for show either.

“We knew how big the game was and the lads are really close here,” added Bennett. “We were getting some stick from the fans, even at half-time there were a lot of grumbles, and the celebration was just the solidarity we’ve got among ourselves.

“We wanted to get together then, just off the cuff when we scored, and we just said how important that goal was and how much we wanted to stick together and keep concentrated. That’s something we carried into the dressing room afterwards, and we want to continue to do that.”

When people talk of a new group of players gelling, Bennett’s sentiments should be the watershed. Picking up more results like Saturday would help too. It’s unlikely Carrow Road could take many more pre-match build-ups like the last one.

“It makes it easier to talk about the pressure because we’ve won,” added Bennett. “We’re not ignorant to the fact that there’s pressure, but we don’t think about it.

“We had a few chances and restricted them to hardly anything. So it was on our mind we’ve found it difficult to score this year and we just needed one more chance. And when we got it, we took it. And that’s a big three points for us.”

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16 comments

  • I agree, Kevin. I guess he's impartial so doesn't really care, but the supporters watching our terrible away matches and scrappy home matches are not impressed. Take our 4 home wins this season. All scrappy games we could just as well have lost. Only Cardiff was a dominating performance, and for all our shots in that game, they were mainly outside the area due to lack of movement and urgency, so while we had a lot of shots, it was comfortable for Cardiff and they had the better clear chances.

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    Colin

    Monday, January 20, 2014

  • One swallow does not make a summer. Another loss could send us sinking to the bottom again. If its not Hughton's fault then maybe they need a better coaching team. Fans all over the country hold up banners - if the board does not read the criticism and do something then banners make the point.

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    Jim

    Monday, January 20, 2014

  • The Team Players and management need to man up and acept their gross failures,then to do better and go for it rather than have mediocrity as seemingly forever

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    Albert Cooper

    Monday, January 20, 2014

  • Spot on Jim and we should not forget that the win against Hull came very late in the game. It could so easily have gone the other way, had Hull decided to attack with a bit more pashion. Things are still so tight at the bottom we simply must add more points to the table in the next few games or we will be back to square one that is for sure.

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    TrevorKeith

    Monday, January 20, 2014

  • If as Bennetsays, banners with "Hughton Out" spur the team then lets have stands full of them!! Meanwhile Mr Bennet as a professional footballer perhaps you would like to earn your money without needing to be spurred by banners! What a pathetic situation when they can only play to win when the fans get into them.

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    Melbourne

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • One swallow does not make a summer. Another loss could send us sinking to the bottom again. If its not Hughton's fault then maybe they need a better coaching team. Fans all over the country hold up banners - if the board does not read the criticism and do something then banners make the point.

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    Jim

    Monday, January 20, 2014

  • A banner reading "Hughton Out" was held up by supporters before Tuesday's FA Cup replay defeat at Fulham. "We turned up for Fulham and there's a banner as we're getting off the coach," Bennett told BBC Radio Norfolk. "There's no need for that. You see that and it spurs you on and you don't understand what they're thinking." It spurred them on? I thought we lost 3-0? Best he leaves the interviews to somebody with a brain!

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    kevin

    Monday, January 20, 2014

  • Spot on Kevin, I read the BBC article from Bennett with incredulity, The players need to man up and do their talking on the pitch, their media interviews are almost as bad as their performances. We fans would love to see performances that their huge wage packet deserve whether that is paid for by fans turning up at Carrow Road or those subscribers to Sky sports. I like Bennett and Hope he is part of a great Carrow road future. It really shouldn't be up to fans displaying Hughton out banners galvanising the team it should be Hoots.

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    Canaryinslovenia

    Monday, January 20, 2014

  • Ive no problem with banners at Fulham, fans moaning or even myself moaning about current decline over last 13months. Especially if once again it spurs a bit of fight and passion out of the team, even if only to prove those grumbling wrong. I have no issue Hughton keeping us up and everyone saying "told you so", in fact I hope he does! Lets hope we can kick on from this.

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    Mattias333

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • Alan Smith in todays Telegraph has City down for relegation. Hard to argue with him really after the dismal fare we have seen this season. Scraping home against Hull and Palace and a complete lack of effort and tactical nous away from home. By the time we are in the bottom 3 it will be too late Mr McNally.

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    scousecanary

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

  • Aha, the clappy cr*ppers, sorry, cr*ppy clappers, oh never mind'. Steely its all in the wrist action old bean, just imagine you're singing 'You go back Jack and do it again', you'll soon get the hang of it, as we did down at the Jazz Cafe on Sunday.

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    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • Good point, kevin. Perhaps it`s down to reaction time? Took a few days to sink in, then the synapse sparked, like an old single-cylinder English motorbike`s plug. But it worked eventually, it seems. Everything is fine & dandy now. We must put behind us the string of 8 games without a win and be positive. As long as we get another win in, say, 4 games time? I don`t much like banners, even less those Happy Cardboard Clapper contraptions.

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, January 20, 2014

  • You missed out the part where he criticised the supporters.

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    Colin

    Monday, January 20, 2014

  • Regarding those Happy Clappy Cardboard contraptions Brew. I can't recall ever seeing them at a football match. My first experience of them was at Newlands in 2000. England had made a good start and went into lunch over 100 for nought (Atherton and Butcher). During the lunch break those infernal things were handed out to all the crowd. After lunch when Pollock and Donald ran in it was with a crescendo of noise. This frightened our players and we slumped to 240 odd all out. All down to the clappers.

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    Steely Dan

    Monday, January 20, 2014

  • Blimey Bill how I envy that Bohemian lifestyle - Jazz Cafe on a Sunday listening to the Dan of Steel. I have a quiz and chilli evening on Saturday in the local sea scouts hut. In my case 'those days are gone forever, over a long time ago'.

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    Steely Dan

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • CH did his bit to try and praise the supporters. Ryan B. did well for the goal but is needs some coaching from Russ Martin when it comes to the media.

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    Swiss Canary

    Monday, January 20, 2014

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