Paddy’s Pointers: Five observations from Norwich City’s 2-1 Championship win at Nottingham Forest

Jonny Howson equalised for Norwich City at Nottingham Forest. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Image

Jonny Howson equalised for Norwich City at Nottingham Forest. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Our Norwich City correspondent Paddy Davitt delivers his snap verdict from the City Ground

1. Clinical - Alex Neil called for it. Wes Hoolahan appeared to miss the email when his first half penalty was saved by Vladimir Stojkovic but Jonny Howson and Graham Dorrans slammed home two unerring finishes to seal a priceless three points the hard way for the Canaries.

2. Graham Dorrans - Divides opinion amongst the Norwich support but there was no contesting the quality of his match-winning strike. The execution and the timing was perfect to rifle a 20-yard shot low into the bottom corner. The goal celebrations from Dorrans also showed what it meant to the Scottish international.

3. Statement of intent - Given Nottingham Forest were targeting a fourth consecutive home league win and Norwich missed a first-half spot kick this was a major test of City's promotion credentials. Norwich's midfield looked sluggish and lacking in energy in the opening period but full credit to the visitors they responded in emphatic fashion at one of the toughest early season outposts in the Championship.

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4. Jacob Murphy, the talisman - Murphy was a peripheral figure in the opening period as Norwich were unable to work the red-hot youngster into advantageous positions in the final third. It may be lost in the mists of time but it was his turn and instinctive shot which forced Vladimir Stojkovic to tip over early in the second half. From Murphy's deep corner, Jonny Howson eventually equalised. Then we were treated to Murphy in his pomp with City in the ascendancy.

5. Banishing Birmingham demons - Alex Neil positively bristled in the build up when he was reminded of Norwich's abject display at Birmingham in their previous away test. Neil insisted that was a one-off - in terms of the scale of the below-par performances from his troops. At half-time here there was more than a few doubters but City responded to exorcise any lingering demons. Lest we forget, Forest had failed to drop a single point at home this campaign.