Jed joins Canaries in the Premier League after Villa’s Championship play-off final win
PUBLISHED: 16:55 27 May 2019 | UPDATED: 19:05 27 May 2019
Boyhood Norwich City fan Jed Steer has followed the Canaries into the Premier League after Aston Villa’s 2-1 Championship play-off final win over Derby County at Wembley.
Anwar El Ghazi's 44th minute glancing flick put the Villans ahead before a rick from Derby keeper Kelle Roos gifted John McGinn a second goal. Martyn Waghorn pulled one back with the faintest of touches to deflect home Jack Marriott's effort to set up a grandstand finish but Villa held on.
Dean Smith's side followed City and Sheffield United out of the Championship 12 months after losing out to Fulham at Wembley.
Steer was the spot kick hero in this season's semi-final aggregate win over West Brom, but the Villa number one was rarely troubled by Frank Lampard's side, although his handling had to be secure in a frantic finale.
Smith lead his hometown club back to the big time after moving from Brentford earlier in the season.
"Unbelievable," he said. "The players have been immense. They work hard every day, they are like sponges in wanting to take on information. But the last 15 minutes were the longest of my career.
"We made history by winning 10 games on the spin and in this league that is tough. I always believe the pressure is something you put on yourself. I am aware that Villa is a top six team in the Championship, minimum.
"You have to treat people with respect to get the best out of them. But this club is in good hands with the owners. If we got beat last year, we were in trouble. If we had got beaten today, then we would not have been in trouble. They have a lot of money and they are in it for the long haul. Going up now the potential is massive.
"We have had to start planning for the last month since we knew we were in the play-offs. Whether that was in the Championship or the Premier League."
Blades' chief Chris Wilder was part of Sky's punditry panel at Wembley.
"Dean Smith has done an incredible job since he came in," said Wilder. "With him being a Villa fan there would have been even more pressure and expectation on him to win football matches.
"He had to win games of football and he has done, culminating at Wembley. John McGinn was everywhere. For me, he has been the best midfielder in the Championship - behind Ollie Norwood. He deserves to go up. That is fantastic recruitment and he will grace the Premier League.
"The Villa fans have had some tough times but they deserve to be a Premier League club. They've got a boyhood fan in charge and I can connect with that. It would not have been a good place for Dean if they had lost this game."
Former City midfielder Bradley Johnson was unable to repeat his play-off final success for the Canaries from four years ago as Derby came up short at the last hurdle.
Norwich completed the league double over Villa and sealed the title on the final day of the regular Championship season.
Steer, who came through Norwich's academy before joining Paul Lambert at Villa Park in 2013, missed out on a reunion when Daniel Farke's side through injury.
Ahead of that game, however, the 26-year-old revealed he still had a soft spot for his first club.
"Norwich is my hometown club and I always want to see them do well," he said. "Obviously my focus is on us going up. If we can follow them into the Premier League, I'd be delighted. I came here as a very young goalkeeper, learning my trade - and I still am.
"The last couple of years have been very stop-start for me. I had a couple of serious injuries but, in all honesty, they've only made me stronger mentally. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.
"Coming back here and working with the management team has been top drawer. I've now managed to get into the team. I've loved it. At the end of the day, everyone wants to play.
"You can either sulk about it that you're not playing or you can embrace it and look to improve every day to become the number one."
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