It was far from vintage stuff as the Canaries secured that all-important 1-0 victory at Scunthorpe yesterday, but you just get the feeling this City side ? invigorated under Glenn Roeder ? are made of sterner stuff nowadays.
Can you remember the last time a Norwich City outfit was able to grind out results in the fashion they are at the moment?
Much like the visit to Essex last weekend, City's never-say-die attitude gained them a reward for their efforts and a four point return from their last two road trips will have Canary fans in good heart as they tuck into their turkey dinner this Christmas.
All of a sudden, the losing habit which was proving so hard to shake off has turned into a winning one and Scunthorpe (a) was not a fixture City would have expected to win before the arrival of the new management team.
They now have a new-found resilience ? oh so important in a Championship where you have to scrap and battle for every point ? and yesterday's 78th minute Jamie Cureton winner continued the Canaries' excellent recent run.
It's only one defeat in seven now for Roeder and Co?
“I thought the players showed great determination to grind out the win,” Roeder said after the game.
“At times it wasn't pretty, but I didn't expect it to be and that is no disrespect to Scunthorpe. They play a certain way and it is very hard to play against. They try and wear you down and it only needs one slip for them to score.
“They made it difficult for us, much like Colchester did last week, but you can never accuse us of giving in. We kept going and I think we deserved the points overall.”
“We had a number of opportunities, especially in the second half, to really wrap the game up. But I was disappointed in the first half and I told them that.
“We didn't play anywhere near as well as we can. But it was a lot better in the second half and without it being a classic, it was a good three points and a very important three points.”
At the heart of all things good were defensive lynchpins Gary Doherty and Jason Shackell and so far, the departure of Martin Taylor back to Birmingham has not been the catastrophe some feared.
Let's not underestimate the threat Scunthorpe posed. Second bottom of the Championship they may now be, but they pumped balls into the Canary box all day long and with the pacey Jonathan Forte and top-scoring workhorse Martin Paterson on hand to pounce, the City backline had to be at their very, very best.
And in terms of performance, for Doherty and Shackell, this was up there with the best of them.
“I was very pleased for them,” added Roeder.
“I don't like to single out players because it is a team game and it was a team performance.
“But Doherty and Shackell did well and it was probably their best performances so far, particularly Doherty.
“His level of consistency has been very good and we need him to continue like that. I thought it was Marshy's (David Marshall) best game for us as well. He dealt with crosses well and made some important saves.”
The victory in North Lincolnshire now puts City ahead of the Iron and up to the heady heights of 18th; the turnaround since the arrival of the former West Ham and Newcastle boss has been nothing short of remarkable – a fact not lost on the City chief?
“When I came to the club we had eight points and we were a few games away from needing snookers.
“We were nearly cut adrift. But to now have 25 points is an amazing effort by the lads. All credit to them and I have to say, I think we've moved on a long way in a short space of time.
“But there's no time for relaxation, we've got two huge home games coming up and we need to do our very best to make sure we get maximum points.
“They are two difficult games but, as you can imagine, the dressing room is a terrific place to be at the moment.”
To be fair to Roeder, the loan additions of Matty Pattison, Ched Evans, Mo Camara and previously, 'Tiny' Taylor, have made all the difference.
There are genuine options in the Canary squad now and whilst the search for new faces goes on, the City boss can chop and change it if he needs to; yesterday, it was the turn of Jamie Cureton to sit it out.
But you can't keep a good man down and in true Cureton fashion, he came off the bench to seal the points at a freezing cold Glanford Park.
It has certainly given Roeder a headache of the right kind as the Canaries prepare for the big, Boxing Day clash with Charlton at Carrow Road.
“I made a decision not to start Jamie but as I said at our team meeting, the player who was going to win us the game might not even be starting and that is the way it turned out.
“He was very disappointed not to start the game and that is the attitude I want from my players. But the key thing for me was that when he stepped over the white line, he was at it. Jamie was flat out and got what he deserved in the end.”
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