'I knew I was capable of doing it' – Mario shining in more ways than one for Norwich City
PUBLISHED: 20:40 03 February 2019 | UPDATED: 20:40 03 February 2019
It was a statement performance from Norwich City at Leeds – and an outstanding evening in yellow and green from Mario Vrancic.
The Bosnian midfielder scored twice and had a major hand in the Canaries’ third, as they delivered the high point of a startling, sparkling Championship season so far – in turn handing Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds a nightmare they will hope to get over in double-quick time.
The night showed just how far so many of Daniel Farke’s players have come – especially those who toiled for so much of last season; Vrancic included.
“I’m enjoying it,” smiled the midfielder. “I knew I was capable of doing it at this level – and also last season to do it. But unfortunately I couldn’t manage to show it, and it is always a thing about confidence to bring it on to the pitch.
“Luckily I got the chance and minutes to show myself – and I did it here.”
Vrancic now has five goals from his last 10 City games, easing the injury absence of Moritz Leitner while proving his own abilities at the very top of the second tier.
His delicious free-kick after just five minutes at Elland Road had been well worth the wait.
“It was amazing – I think my last free-kick was at Brentford in the cup early last season, so it has taken me a bit of time,” he added.
“Obviously I was happy about it and it gave us a big boost. We felt a bit more confident after this goal and it is always like this – goals are important for the confidence. But still having 85 minutes to play, it was a tough game but we are relieved and happy about the win.
“They threw everything at us with two changes at half time. I have to admit it was also a great team performance. We had a great team effort. Everyone was tackling, flying around, defending their own box, which against this opponent was quite important to get a victory.”
Where the season heads now for City is what will excite in the stands – but Vrancic won’t be letting anything cloud the path.
“It’s a dream for both clubs to manage to get promoted but we’re just enjoying the moment,” he said.
“It’s a long journey and we need to focus from game to game. Every game is so tough and so important. Also if we hadn’t won this game, it’s just three points. No more lost, no less.
“I think also for the supporters, it was a great game to watch. Both teams were great.
“We have our own style definitely, which at the moment is pretty successful. It looks better when you’re successful – but I can’t judge if it’s Premier League football. At the moment we are doing well, and that’s the most important thing.
“We had a great performance, we were focused, we were greedy. We had everything against a tough opponent. Now it’s 16 games to go.”
• For the latest Norwich City news and opinion follow Michael Bailey on the following channels…