December 12 2013 Latest news:
Sunday, September 29, 2013
It was a third Premier League game away from home involving Norwich City, where a side managed just one shot on target and the fans were grumbling at both half-time and the final whistle. Thankfully, after trips to Hull and Tottenham it was the hosts that on this occasion had to deal with a few recriminations.
John Ruddy had one of those comfortable afternoons all goalkeepers wish for, while City set about their hosts with energy and the kind of quality all Canaries fans would welcome for the rest of the season.
And while plenty had been said and written before Sunday’s game about the pressure on the Canaries – and especially Chris Hughton – following back to back top-flight defeats, City’s first win at the Britannia Stadium was about more than easing things for the Norwich boss according to Russell Martin.
“We all needed it – manager, players, staff, fans, everyone,” beamed City’s club captain. “Everyone wants it. The manager of any football club unfortunately takes the flack when a team isn’t doing so well and we felt that the last few weeks.
“I said to the boys before the game that today was about us, about doing the best for ourselves and for the people that have travelled here and for the manager and the staff, because we all work extremely hard during the week, which a lot of people don’t see obviously. And today is as satisfying for us as it is for the gaffer.”
The visitors fully deserved the victory – a statement both managers agreed with after the final whistle – but City didn’t have it all their own way, as most would expect.
However the Canaries’ defensive resolve helped see them over the line, especially once half-time came and went.
“The first 15 minutes of the second half they had a little go but I think we weathered the storm really well and the threat that they had, we matched up to it,” added Martin. “After that we nullified them and started to play again a bit as well.
“The first 15 it was always gong to be a bit tough. They were going to come out, the crowd were going to get on their side. But by the end of the game if you look back at it, I don’t think we’ve had too much or they’ve given John much to do at all.
“They’ve changed the way they play a little bit, Stoke. They want to pass the ball and in the end they went fairly direct because we forced them to do that, and we worked on that during the week with those three (Tettey, Fer and Howson) in the middle.
“Alex gave the other two licence to get forward, which is how he (Howson) has gone and got his goal because we know he possess that quality in front of goal. So it worked out really well today.”
On matchwinner Howson – a man who found his goalscoring touch with two fantastic goals at the end of last season and can now add a sweet Britannia strike to his record – Martin added: “It’s the same in training – all or nothing with Jonny.
“He possess great ability and it’s just finding the best way to use him.
“I see it every day in training and he makes the hard things look really easy. That is the best thing you can say about someone; technically, Jonny is a really gifted footballer.”
Chris Hughton admitted Norwich’s soft centre again contributed to their downfall as Luis Suarez inspired Liverpool to a 5-1 Premier League win on Wednesday night at Anfield.