City's goal-scoring hero Matty Pattison – a phrase that in itself is worth repeating – City's goal-scoring hero Matty Pattison saluted his Canary team-mates for “putting an extra shift in” at the City Ground and walking away with three, memorable points in front of the Sky TV cameras.
Traditionally, of course, the instant the director says: 'Action!', the Norfolk side stumble over their lines. By the time he says: 'Cut!', City are in a sorry heap on the floor; the nation's armchair football fans having been treated to another 'no-show' by the camera-shy Canaries.
This weekend, however, and it was their hosts who were there fluffing their lines and missing their cues as Norwich shrugged off Gary Doherty's early dismissal, rode their luck through to the interval on the back of David Marshall's sparkling form and in the end, closed out Colin Calderwood's bottom-of-the-table Forest side all-too easily.
Or rather, all-too easily for a Norwich side 'fresh' from those away-day triumphs at Burnley and Derby County of late.
And in the midst of it all came something of a collectors' item – a goal for Matty Pattison. In his 43rd appearance for the Carrow Road club since making that initial loan switch from Newcastle United just over a year ago.
“It's a hard place to come this – and going down to ten men so early. Phew… ” said Pattison, as the Canaries kept themselves in 19th spot and began to put a little bit of distance between themselves and Forest now rooted to the foot of the table eight points adrift of Glenn Roeder's men.
“We knew it was going to be a hard job, but the lads got stuck behind it, put an extra shift in and got our rewards at the end of it.”
Given that both Watford and Southampton won – the Saints delivering the result of the day with that 2-1 win at Reading – it was crucial that Norwich picked up something on their travels. Few, however, would have banked on all three points – particularly once Doherty saw Nathan Tyson spinning away towards goal.
It was, said Pattison, high time that the Canaries approached similar away trips with a similar mental attitude – you dig in, in the hope of digging out a result. This weekend and City did both to perfection. Albeit helped by a poor second-half performance by Forest; that and Luke Chambers' late own goal as Mark Fotheringham sniffed at Lee Croft's cross.
“It's a case of coming into the games with the same frame of mind,” Pattison explained to BBC Radio Norfolk afterwards.
“This game we've knuckled down, we've dogged and played some good fotball as well with ten men – we've passed the ball around. And we've just got to go into the next game and think exactly the same and try and, hopefully, get the same result.”
That next game comes at home to Crystal Palace on Tuesday night. Given that the Eagles arrive with N Warnock at the helm, toughing it out will certainly be the order of the day against one of the Championship's more recognised street-fighters.
In fairness to the 22-year-old Pattison, that is one of his biggest strengths – he'll be up for a scrap. He's not one to go and hide.
On Saturday, it was all hands on deck once the Doc departed – the second time in as many weeks that Norwich's skipper had failed to finish a match after Darel Russell's moment of madness against Preston. Pattison has reaped the benefit alongside Sammy Clingan and Russell may yet have to wait awhile to reclaim his favoured central midfield role – unless, of course, Clingan starts where he finished this weekend at centre-half.
“When Doc got sent off you thought that heads might drop, but the lads didn't – they just kept going,” said Pattison, about to feel a whole new sensation as David Bell's cross arced its way across the Forest box.
“It's been a long time coming, but it's a good feeling,” said the Geordie-born South African as he racked up numero uno. “And, hopefully, it means that there's plenty more to come.
For a young man who attracted more than his fair share of lurid headlines last season following that drink-drive episode, ne or two demons might have been exorcised on Saturday night.
“It's been over a year now since I first came, so it has been a long time coming,” he said. “But I'm over the moon now and, hopefully, I can get plenty more.”
The trick, in part, will be to bottle the atmosphere and post-match reaction at the City Ground and drink heartily from said bottle ahead of every game.
“Everyone's just buzzin',” said Pattison. “It's such a good feeling and for a football you want to have that feeling all the time in the dressing room.
“There's a lot of games coming up now in December and we've all just got to stick together as a team.”
The fact that the celebrations at the final whistle included the 1,600 travelling Canary supporters might have started to re-build a few bridges in their direction; might, just, have repaid their loyalty for such delights as unfolded at Turf Moor and Pride Park.
“The support was great,” said Pattison. “And the lads showed their appreciation after the game by going over and throwing their shirts into the crowd because we know how much it means to them and show how much it meant to us as well.”
How much it actually means in terms of the course of Norwich's season will depend on what happens on Tuesday night; defeat at home to Palace and City are right back to square one again. They can do it. Ask runaway leaders Wolves.
“We have massively under-achieved,” said Pattison. “We know that we've got the players in there to compete with the best. We've showed that at Carrow Road when we've played the two top teams. It's just a case of coming away to places like this, being dogged and getting results.”
Which hit one big nail on the head.
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