Norwich City really will be flying if they start playing well in both halves

Nathan Redmond finds himself double-marked against his former club. Picture: Paul Chesterton / Focus

Nathan Redmond finds himself double-marked against his former club. Picture: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

After Cameron Jerome's stunning strike put us 3-0 up against Brentford, chants of 'We've got our Norwich back' rung around the away end at Griffin Park.

Presumably, that refrain was referring to our attacking prowess and not the fact that for the second time in the space of three days we'd only managed to play well in one half, a problem that meant some periods of good play counted for nothing last season when at times matches were put beyond our reach before the interval.

Another of last season's traits that we won't be wanting to reprise is gifting goals to the opposition – and if it wasn't for John Ruddy's outstanding performance on Tuesday, City could have easily been 3-0 down.

As it was, on Saturday we weren't slow in getting out of the blocks and if Lewis Grabban had opted for the simple over the spectacular with the goal at his mercy we could have been a goal to the good after just five minutes.

It wasn't a case of a woeful opening 45 minutes that left Neil Adams' men having to dig themselves out of another hole this time, but it does serve as a reminder that if you can't take chances early on they can come back to haunt you.


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If Birmingham's first goal, which took a big deflection before squirming through Ruddy's hands, was lucky, the second highlighted our defensive frailties which were exposed too easily against Cardiff.

Michael Turner and Jos Hooiveld possess many of the attributes suited to marshalling the back line against Championship opposition, but an abundance of pace isn't among them and it's a concern against teams with quick forwards.

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Alex Tettey and Wes Hoolahan were both guilty of losing the ball in possession, and Hoolahan's departure at half-time proved what little effect he was having on the game.

Hoolahan's creative genius is also his biggest downfall at times. When he's on his game, his ability to seemingly make the ball stick to his feet and draw players towards him before making a killer pass can make the difference.

But on a bad day, being unable to recognise when to play a simple ball to retain possession and instead trying to do too much on the ball or carve out a pass that isn't on can leave City exposed. One major positive to take from a second successive home league draw is of course Cameron Jerome's continuing vein of form that has seen him score a range of goals with both his head and feet in recent weeks.

He and Grabban are now level in the league goalscoring stakes with five each to their name. Surely it is only a matter of time before their partnership flourishes to an extent that they'll both get on the scoresheet in the same match.

We can't keep relying on scoring goals to get us out of trouble though and it's sloppy defending that Adams will want to work on cutting out of our footballing repertoire that in terms of attack is heavily stocked.

On another positive note, a Gary Hooper goal with an assist from Jonny Howson in their return to competitive action in the under-21s 5-0 win over Leicester this week is another sign of what we have to look forward to when those two are hopefully fit for selection again soon.

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