Paddy's Pointers: Five observations from Norwich City's 2-0 Championship defeat against Fulham
PUBLISHED: 23:37 30 March 2018 | UPDATED: 08:40 31 March 2018
©Focus Images Limited www.focus-images.co.uk +447814 482222
Our Norwich City correspondent Paddy Davitt delivers his verdict from Carrow Road
1. Fearsome Fulham - This was almost dismissive from a side who will push Cardiff all the way in the battle for automatic Championship promotion.
The Cottagers were happy to engage with Daniel Farke’s men in prolonged bouts of possession.
But when they moved through the gears midway through the second period it was devastating.
Norwich had more than an equitable amount of promising counters but there was a complete absence of clinical intent. Josh Murphy, Mario Vrancic, even James Maddison all had chances to punish Fulham on the counter but City’s play in the final third was again laced with a lack of self-belief.
There was never any doubt both Stefan Johansen or Tom Cairney would keep their cool in the defining moments of this game.
That is the difference. That is why Fulham extended their unbeaten league run to 17 games.
2. Work in progress - Dennis Srbeny again got the nod in front of Nelson Oliveira. Another chance to prove he is adapting to life at a much higher level than the German third tier.
That first goal was only foiled by a flying finger tip save from Marcus Betinelli early in the second period after Srbeny unleashed a rising long range effort.
The sooner it comes, the quicker for all concerned.
Farke has placed plenty of faith in the unproven frontman. But you can still see the rough edges to his game in the manner he was moved off the ball by Denis Odoi when City’s midfield looked to play into feet and build attacks to disrupt Fulham’s passing rhythms.
Judgement can wait beyond a period of acclimatisation this season. But patience will not be infinite.
3. Happy Harry - The Southampton loanee underlined his versatility with that prolonged stint in a right wing-back role when Ivo Pinto was ruled out recently.
The highest compliment perhaps you could pay Reed is he looked anything but an emergency option. Restored to a more familiar holding role here alongside Alex Tettey after about 25 minutes of the opening period he was shunted to the right of the midfield three behind Srbeny to allow Maddison a more central role.
Reed is a multi-purpose footballer in the modern mould and should the planets align in the summer and Southampton retain their Premier League status City would be wise to explore the potential of another tour of duty on loan.
4. Jumping Jamal - Lewis is now the poster boy for what Norwich’s academy could become should the major transformation of the facilities earmarked for the Canaries’ bond really accelerate the flow of talent into the first team.
Prior to the international break the young defender had shown signs of mental and physical fatigue.
Daniel Farke has had cause to rue his naivety on occasion but an international break that brought his senior debut for Northern Ireland appeared to have energised the Luton-bred prospect.
Lewis was aggressive in his defending and adventurous in his attacking to help pin the Cottagers back.
He looked like the confident young man who first burst on the scene before Christmas.
Long may it continue.
5. More of Marcus - Farke handed the Tottenham loanee his long-awaited debut for the club in the final moments.
There were one or two flashes of his close control but it will be interesting to sees whether the head coach now opts to give him more of a leading role at QPR on Monday and beyond.
Ivo Pinto was right on Thursday when he said the remainder of the season is all about planning for next.
Whether Edwards is part of that plan remains to be seen.
But he could provide a spark. One need only look at the inspiration lift Ryan Sessegnon gave Fulham when he was introduced early in the second period.
• For the latest Norwich City news and opinion follow Group Football Editor Paddy Davitt on the following channels…