City midfielder Matty Pattison insisted that saturday's 2-2 draw with Cardiff City was a “massive” result for the Norfolk club after the Canaries finally discovered their scoring touch.
Two goals in less than five minutes from on-loan Fiorentina striker Arturo Lupoli turned the contest on its head after the game appeared to be following an all-too familiar script with Ross McCormack's own double strike putting the Bluebirds firmly in command.
They could, of course, still claimed all three points had a certain South African-born Geordie not found himself perfectly-placed on the Norwich goal-line to head Darren Purse's late blast clear with David Marshall long beaten.
Likewise, Norwich might have come that much closer to stealing home with all the spoils had Roger Johnson not been stood on the Cardiff goal-line to hack Pattison's own second-half drive clear. It was also Pattison who teased Joe Ledley into conceding that early penalty as he nicked the ball round the Cardiff winger and waited for the Bluebirds star to step across him.
It was that kind of day for the industrious 21-year-old as he found himself in the thick of the action at either end of the pitch; his best game yet in a Canary shirt was Glenn Roeder's verdict afterwards as the one-time Newcastle trainee fully justified his starting place.
“We wouldn't have taken a point before the game, but the way that it panned [out] we'd take a point,” said Pattison, fast putting all last season's lurid headlines behind him.
Roeder's act of faith then in sticking with his young midfielder is now being rewarded; few gave more to the Canary cause than Pattison this weekend as the visitors stormed back to take a point having been all but dead and buried with less than 15 minutes of the contest remaining.
“It just showed the character of the lads and, hopefully, that can kick-start the season off,” added Pattison, well aware that Norwich's afternoon was following an all-too familiar script as McCormack's third minute opener was then followed by Jamie Cureton's eighth minute penalty miss.
“It just felt like one of them days, but it just shows the character of the lads – we came back and it was a brilliant header there by Lupo [Lupoli],” he said, as the 21-year-old Italian broke his recent scoring duck with first an instinctive, right-food effort inside the far upright and then a superb, angled diving header to earn a point.
“We could even have gone on to win the game – we had a few more chances,” said Pattison, who saw a sweet, right-foot curler of his own just drift the wrong side of the post as Norwich began to get a far better grip of proceedings after the break.
Header of the day, however, was his off the line – or at least that was his claim.
“Obviously that's why you put people on the post for corners – and it pays off,” he said. “We'd have been absolutely gutted if that had gone in.
“I'd just seen the corner come across; it's dropped down to him and he's just sort of pinged it straight at me – anywhere else and it was probably going in. But its just hit me straight on the head. It was a hell of a shot as well – I was just delighted to be on the line to stop it because we don't want to go 3-2 down after doing all that hard work to get back to get back in it.”
The result would, he insisted, given everyone a big lift ahead of this weekend's clash with early pace-setters Birmingham City. A 2-0 defeat with the Canaries stuck in all their goal-shy ways would have ensured an uneasy atmosphere back in Norfolk; now, however, and hope will be starting to return – on and off the pitch.
“We'll be buzzing for the game against Birmingham,” said Pattison, already all-but guaranteed his place in the starting line-up by Roeder.
“Matty Pattison had his best 90 minutes for Norwich City since he's been here,” said the delighted City chief opting to start Pattison away on the right ahead of both Lee Croft and the injured David Bell before switching him back across to the left on the hour-mark. On either flank, Pattison ensured he was involved – and offered more conviction than most when it came to having a pop at goal.
“He always does good things in a game and then he'll go and do some silly things due to his inexperience,” said Roeder, about to break ahabit of a lifeitme and name his own MotM.
“I don't really like man of the matches because it's a team game,” he said. “And I don't really like pulling out individuals. But if you press me to, today I would ave said Matty Pattison was our Man of the Match quite easily. I thought he had an outstanding game.
“And he's a lovely, lovely lad. A super lad to work with; he's come all the way down here and he wants to do well. So he's got the shirt at the moment and it's up to him to lose the shirt,” added Roeder, Pattison's task made that much easier by Wes Hoolahan's half-time fall from grace – the pressure is now on the ex-Blackpool playmaker to prise his way back into that congested midfield.
Bell, of course, is pencilled in for a possible appearance away at Plymouth in three weeks time. For now, however, and Pattison's place looks safe.
“Certainly on today's performance, you think he'll be starting against Birmingham next week.”
Which obviously suits Pattison – be it on the left or on the right. “I enjoy playing out on the right,” he said. “And then the gaffer changed me over to the left in the second-half – and I enjoyed playing there as well.
“But I do like attacking a lot. Even when I'm playing in the middle I still enjoy attacking – I ust don't seem to have done it much playing for Norwich. But I'm just happy to be playing in the first eleven and, hopefully, I can just keep performing well.”
And break his own City scoring duck?
“I've been feeling like that since I came to Norwich – coming so close. But I'm sure that when one comes a second one seems to come along quite quickly. Like Lupo showed there.”