Paddy’s Pointers: Five observations from Norwich City’s thrilling 3-1 Championship win against Aston Villa
PUBLISHED: 14:39 07 April 2018 | UPDATED: 08:17 08 April 2018
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Our Norwich City correspondent Paddy Davitt delivers his verdict from Carrow Road
1. Lift-off? - Using Daniel Farke’s emotional spectrum there will be some Norwich City fans who now think a late play-off push is possible before taking the Premier League by storm.
Flippancy aside, this was an excellent day at the office against a squad and a club who fully expect to be in the top flight next season.
Norwich’s long-suffering home fans were treated to a command performance. City were tight at the back and potent up front.
There was a speed and urgency to their counter-attacking motions and a freedom to their play.
That really is all City fans want to see.
The elusive element is that consistency which for this first season under Daniel Farke has proved maddeningly absent. Farke has never sought to offer excuses but debilitating injuries and Alex Pritchard’s January sale are indisputable mitigation.
A greater contrast in mood and emotion from the Easter Monday debacle at QPR it would be difficult to find at the final whistle.
But this win should be savoured after a prolonged spell that tested the patience of all concerned.
2. My, my Murphy - You would struggle to find a more complete performance in Norwich City colours from one of the gems of City’s academy.
His 10th goal of the season was the skillset of a hugely talented operator as he cut inside and unleashed a dipping 25 yard effort.
That soaring confidence was stamped through the rest of his play and two major support roles in sealing this win.
The electric burst and clever pass to Harrison Reed teed up Dennis Srbeny for a landmark goal before another incisive move and composed pass was slotted by James Maddison.
Produce this level of productivity and the hype is fully justified.
3. Dennis delivered - There was a slice of luck in the manner his sidefoot finish squirmed through Sam Johnstone’s legs, before nestling inside the far post, but the big striker deserved that for another selfless shift.
A first goal at the ninth attempt should do wonders for a young man who clearly needs time to adapt but has found himself under perhaps unfair and intense scrutiny given Norwich’s season-long travails in front of goal.
Now he knows he can plunder in the Championship it would do him and the Canaries a power of good to add to his tally over the run-in.
4. Old boys’ network - If anything underlined these are changing times it was the sight of some familiar faces in the Villa ranks.
Robert Snodgrass, Lewis Grabban, even Mark Bunn as back-up keeper, were all synonymous with an era when the money flowed freely and the Premier League was a regular backdrop.
To get back there again, Norwich have embarked on a different course. Delia Smith’s latest national interview underlined there needs to be a full buy-in from the City fan base who quite rightly retain a degree of scepticism.
The only way that will dissolve is more of these days.
5. Sunderland (a) - There should be no shortage of appetite for the task ahead now in the north-east on Tuesday. City must try to harness this energy, tempo and urgency more often than not over the run-in.
Villa arrived in Norfolk looking to close the gap on those in the automatic places.
Sunderland will be desperate to scramble clear of danger at the other end. But irrespective of the motivation for the opponents, Norwich have their own agenda.
This is all about next season and bouncing into the summer in optimistic fashion.
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