Norwich City supporters took Youssouf Mulumbu’s lead and dragged Canaries over line

Youssouf Mulumbu is available again for Norwich after returning from the African Cup of Nations. Pic

Youssouf Mulumbu is available again for Norwich after returning from the African Cup of Nations. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

What a difference 45 minutes makes.

City fans have been trained to expect the worst this season and, after what was a truly dreadful spectacle in the first half came to an end, it wasn't too difficult to imagine Aston Villa nicking a winner in the second half.

Negative? Yes, but you can hardly blame a fanbase that has been through the mill for the past month.

The boos that came at the half-time whistle were harsh, but understandable. There wasn't much to see by way of entertainment.

However, City's players showed they haven't lost all their mental strength in the second half. An industrious display was characterised by Youssouf Mulumbu, who showed exactly the kind of edge the Canaries have been missing for the past two months.

Norwich supporters will put up with a lot but they won't suffer in silence if they feel their players aren't giving their all.

Fans love seeing players snap into challenges and Mulumbu's combative nature gave the crowd something to latch on to and the players fed off it.

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Too often this season it has felt like a season in the Championship has been a massive inconvenience to the City squad.

But this display showed they are warming to the task and if they continue to do that Alex Neil might not have to field questions about his job every week.

There's quality in this City squad, demonstrated by Nelson Oliveira's superb winner. But you have to earn the right to play the pretty football the City boss wants.

Put in the hard yards first and then let City's attacking talent shine through.

If they do that then City's supporters will be a more forgiving bunch. They just want to feel the players that represent them look like they are doing their best.

They felt that at Carrow Road on Tuesday night and City got their reward.

Long may it continue.