Paddy’s Pointers: Five observations from Norwich City’s 2-0 Championship win against Birmingham
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Our Norwich City correspondent Paddy Davitt delivers his snap verdict from Carrow Road
1. Farewell Robbie - If this was Brady's final appearance in a Norwich City shirt, ahead of the final act of the transfer window, it was a positive last impression. The Republic of Ireland international has never quite discovered that consistent seam of performance to lift his Canaries' career a notch or two but there is no doubting his quality. The whipped free kick headed home by Timm Klose for the second goal was a reminder on his day he possesses the technical ability to stand out in a yellow shirt. Perhaps there was just not enough of those. But should all the speculation turn into a tangible move between now and Tuesday at 11pm, Norwich will miss his threat on set pieces.
2. Defensive lapses - Norwich got the job done. Which as Alex Neil reiterated again in the build up is all that matters really now at this advanced stage of the campaign but a better team than Birmingham, with a genuine cutting edge, would have punished the Canaries for too much time and space in their own penalty area. Lukas Jutkiewicz and Craig Gardner both struck the woodwork, whilst Gardner wasted a glorious early chance when he headed over. It was a clean sheet but achieved in some fraught circumstances at times.
3. Striking options - Cameron Jerome rolled in a composed finish to open the scoring against his old club. That will do his confidence no harm after a relatively barren spell but with Nelson Oliveira now available after his three-match ban, Alex Neil will expect some genuine competition and sparks from his two established frontmen to push the Canaries firmly back into the promotion mix. Jerome should have added to his tally in the second period but a productive end to the campaign is the order of the day.
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4. Give youth a chance - Ben Godfrey was introduced for his Norwich league debut in the closing minutes. Godfrey had a taste of the senior ranks earlier in the season but was dipped out again after a tough night at Leeds in the EFL Cup. The powerhouse may owe his elevation to a lengthy casualty list, and Alex Neil may see his future as central defender, but Godfrey showed at Southampton in the FA Cup he could be a viable alternative. With Alex Tettey flirting with suspension and Louis Thompson's season now over, Godfrey's influence may grow on Alex Neil's first team squad between now and May. On the same theme, James Maddison's desire to stay and reject a potential loan exit in the coming days is another encouraging sign.
5. Raising the bar - Norwich took advantage of a league blank for some of the clubs above them in the table to move within two points of the play-off spots. The last two home games have signalled a shift in an upward direction but the real test is now two away trips at Cardiff and Wigan. Emerge unscathed from those and in touch with the top six and the belief may start to grow on the pitch and, just as crucially, on the terraces.