As the dust settles on Monday night’s shattering late defeat at Elland Road, Leeds boss Simon Grayson admitted that City were the best they’ve faced this season.
Any neutral who witnessed the action will admit that the Canaries deserved a point at the very least after dominating much of the contest.
Their movement and craft belittled their third tier status and the Norfolk club gave the west Yorkshire giants a real fright.
And Grayson admitted that on that evidence, an ‘excellent’ City side will be challenging for League One honours come May.
“Norwich were excellent and that’s the hardest game we’ve had, especially in the first 45 minutes. The diamond system they played in midfield caused us problems,” Grayson told the Yorkshire Evening Post.
“I was settling for 1-1 at half-time and sometimes you have to give credit to the opposition and the way they played. But we changed our system in the second half and matched up to them.”
The way that City camped in their opponents’ half for much of the second 45 meant Grayson was content with a point against a promotion rival.
He admitted that lady luck was not on City’s side this time around after Fraser Forster’s scuffed goal kick let in Jermaine Beckford to score a cruel injury-time winner.
But as they say, what goes around comes around. And maybe after two last-gasp equalisers against Gillingham and Charlton, it was time for the Canaries to taste some of their own medicine.
“At 93 minutes down the line, I think both teams would have taken 1-1 and it’s a cruel game sometimes,” the Whites chief continued.
“Their keeper made some great saves and there’ll be times in the season when we play better than we did and not win. But when things are running for you, you have to accept it.”
Leeds went back to the summit of League One with Monday night’s dramatic success and Grayson will now be hoping they can stay there for the distance.
“It’s nice to be top of the table again and it’s good inspiration when you go down to second to get back up there again. It’s where we want to be.”
He did, however, reiterate his opinion that Norwich will be a prominent force between now and May.
As far as the former Blackpool manager is concerned, City provided Leeds with their toughest test to date.
“On this showing, Norwich have given us the most difficult game we’ve had,” added Grayson, hoping to take United back into the Championship in his first full season.
“The way they pass the ball around and look after possession, they’re the best team who’ve been here, that’s for sure.
“It’s a big win because they’re going to be major, major contenders to our hopes of getting promoted.
“Beating the likes of them and Milton Keynes Dons and drawing with Charlton will be big results for us this season.”
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