All for one as James Maddison hails Norwich City’s huddling Middlesbrough spirit
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Togetherness was an often spoken word for Norwich City during pre-season – but at Middlesbrough, it manifested on the pitch.
The Canaries’ superb resolve and record-breaking defence picked up a fifth clean sheet and extended their unbeaten run to six games.
And the spontaneous post-match huddle in front of all still stood inside Riverside Stadium, led by head coach Daniel Farke, emphasised the point made by the previous 90 minutes.
“He just said get ready for Saturday!” joked City’s midweek match-winner James Maddison .
“No, he said listen, it’s a great feeling and we need to remember that feeling and use it to dig in in different games.
“But sometimes you have to take a step back and realise that what we did is special. To come to a place like this and get three points, and send the fans home happy, that’s a great achievement and we should be proud of that.
“I don’t think that huddle will become a regular thing but it was in the moment, the win, to hear that final whistle and to show the fans that we’re thankful.
“After the huddle we all went over there just to show them. They turned up and I don’t know how long that would’ve taken them, but it would’ve been a long slog.
“So that was to say thank you and it just shows the character and togetherness within the squad and with the boss, the coaching staff and everyone.”
Things are going well for the Canaries and the theme is just as warm for Maddison himself, after his gorgeous winning goal stuck another bullet point to what is already developing into a hugely encouraging first full season at Carrow Road for the 20-year-old midfielder.
“I’ve always believed in my own ability and I always knew I was good enough to play at this level,” added Maddison.
“It’s just about getting the right circumstances sometimes. You have to be patient and last season I was, and I didn’t really get the opportunity.
“But the boss has come in, he’s thrown me in at the deep end and I’ve loved every second of it. So I’m relishing that and long may it continue.”
The goal was Maddison’s first league strike of the season, on his eighth appearance and seventh start – following his only assist for Yanic Wildschut’s winning goal at Sheffield United 10 days earlier.
Maddison added: “The defender was in front of me and Marley (Watkins) did really well actually to win the ball back and play the last pass inside.
“I kind of used the defender as a shield, and bent it into the far corner. It was one of those where as soon as I’d hit it I knew I had hit it well, and you see it nestle in… It’s a special feeling.”