Norwich City boss Neil Adams knew he was on a hiding to nothing

Gary ONeil and Bradley Johnson were restored to a combative-looking Norwich City midfield at Wigan.

Gary ONeil and Bradley Johnson were restored to a combative-looking Norwich City midfield at Wigan. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Neil Adams knew what was coming if his Norwich City line-up had not done the business at Wigan.

Nathan Redmond was a notable omission from a Canaries' team that favoured the reliability of Gary O'Neil and Bradley Johnson in a streetwise midfield mix designed to edge an attritional battle between two sides desperately in need of a Championship boost.

Jonny Howson's fifth-minute winner was the high point of a game where the result was all that really mattered.

'Of course I knew what could have been coming my way if we had not won the game but I always pick a team I feel can do a job,' said Adams. 'You could see we put experienced players and a solid midfield unit out. It was the same midfield that was beating Nottingham Forest for all bar the final few minutes, but the reaction after this game is totally different.

'The players deserve all the credit. We prepare them the best we can and we take pride in our tactical approach and our analysis but of course once they go out there the game is in their hands. They have to deliver and they were excellent, they gave absolutely everything and you could see the team spirit and the desire to compete.'

Adams has shown no visible signs of strain, despite growing pressure to produce results, but the City boss admitted there was nothing pretty about his side's Wigan win.

'It wasn't a classic game for sure, but we came here with an intention and a game plan of how we could win,' he said. 'We felt we needed a win and for once we didn't make any costly individual errors that have hurt us so dearly in recent games. It's a bit of a cliché but it was a solid, strong, professional performance.

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'Of course I have felt the pressure. We feel it as a group, a staff, the players, and rightly so. A club like ours in the Championship with 27,000 fans is expected to perform and when results do not go your way the pressure will intensify. We are all aware of that and that is how it should be. You have to step up and face it and we feel we have done.'

Adams will now demand more of the same with Huddersfield the next visitors to Carrow Road.

'It is one win and that is it, but we have to move on now,' he said. 'This has to be a kick start. The performance is not too dissimilar to many where we haven't got the results and there have been games we lost where we felt we deserved points and games we have drawn we should have won. We can go anywhere and win and we just have to make sure we do that more consistently.

'I'm glad we won the game because people have heard me saying the same things. If we had been playing badly in these last seven or eight games or whatever it is and losing then that would have been difficult to think, 'How do we turn this around?' but there has been plenty of positives in those performances.'

• Ricky van Wolfswinkel scored the fifth goal of his season-long loan spell at St Etienne on Saturday with the winner in a 1-0 French league victory against Bastia.