Surman so happy to play part

Norwich's fit-again midfielder Andrew Surman could turn out to be the Canaries' lucky charm over the Championship promotion run-in.

The 24-year-old made his first start at Oakwell since City's thumping 4-1 derby win against Ipswich three months earlier in a midfield quartet bristling with attacking intent behind Wes Hoolahan and Grant Holt.

Andrew Crofts' eye-catching brace was the bare minimum Paul Lambert's men deserved for near total superiority in a win which underlined their promotion credentials.

'The confidence and the belief that we can do it is great within the squad,' said Surman. 'Even amongst the lads who are not playing, we are all getting right behind each other.

'It's great to come back into a team with that sort of spirit. We have a massive opportunity but we just have to take games as they come.


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'It's difficult not to look at how other teams are doing at times but we have to concentrate on ourselves and we'll be right up there at the end of the season.

'When you are pushing for promotion you need to win games and it was a must-win. We have 12 left now and we are right in the mix so it's a great challenge for the team.

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'When you are mid-table perhaps dropping points doesn't matter as much, but when you are in the promotion hunt and you see teams around you winning like QPR, Swansea won 3-0 again this weekend, you can't afford to drop points. We kept the pressure on and if we do the same next Saturday it will keep us going.'

Surman has only lost one senior Norwich outing during an injury-hit campaign he hopes brings a perfect ending.

'It seemed like a long time ago that I last played 90 minutes and my legs were starting to fade a bit towards the end,' he said. 'It is great to be back out there, to get a start, and stay out on the pitch for the whole match and to cap it off with a win is great.

'It's been frustrating as anything. I've never really had any long term injuries and to get two in the same season is hard. I didn't play much at Wolves last season, but that was more because I wasn't involved rather than I was injured. This is the worst season I have had. The longest I'd been out before was five weeks when I had another knee injury at Southampton about five years ago. These things happen, but I'm just glad to be back rather than injured and knowing I was out for the whole season.'

City's attacking verve once again grabbed all the headlines at Oakwell, but Surman also praised Norwich's defensive resolve.

'There is a lot of quality in the team when you have the four of us across midfield and Wes dropping in to make an extra man,' he said. 'Teams find it hard to live with us and that is our game, to keep passing it and breaking teams down. But that is not taking anything away from the defence who I felt were excellent, different class.

'We didn't look like conceding and won everything in the air against a couple of strikers who are very physical. They did a great job. To keep a clean sheet is the main thing, first and foremost, and if we can nick the win then all the better.'

Norwich's mature first half display was fresh evidence of the rapid progress under Paul Lambert.

'I think it showed just how much confidence we have now,' said Surman. 'The lads produced another great performance and we have to go and do that against teams like Barnsley because it can become frustrating in these type of games if you don't get off to a good start.

'We managed to nick a goal or two and it was a thoroughly professional performance. After what happened against Doncaster it was important to pick up the win and that is five points from three games this week which is not too bad.

'Doncaster was frustrating and we felt we dropped two points so to come here and put it right was good and if we can win next Saturday then it is looking really, really good.'

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