City boss Paul Lambert hailed his troops after they ground out another three points at Oldham on what was a near-perfect day for the table-toppers.
With Leeds being held to a draw at Huddersfield in the early kick-off and Colchester going down to a 3-2 defeat at Bristol Rovers, City’s 1-0 win at Boundary Park increases the gap to both the Whites and the chasing pack, with the Yorkshire giants now five points adrift.
And a single second-half goal, courtesy of Grant Holt after a beautifully flighted cross from Anthony McNamee, was enough to seal the victory for the Canaries.
They did, however, have to withstand some late pressure, with Fraser Forster saving well at the feet of Keigan Parker when the Latics striker was clean through.
And after missing a host of first-half chances, City may not have got away with it on another occasion. But they did and at this stage of the season, it’s all about the points.
“It’s another important three points,” he said afterwards, speaking to BBC Radio Norfolk. “It is a tough place to come in difficult conditions but I’m delighted with the lads.
“I thought we had a few chances in the first-half, maybe enough to finish the game but we never took them.
“Grant scores and then we’re hanging on at the death and Fraser makes a great save but it’s another big win for us.
“If we’d have taken our chances in the first-half then we might not have been in that position but as I said, I’m delighted with the lads.”
The City chief made just one change to his line-up with the rested Korey Smith coming back in for Stephen Hughes in the engine room.
And, to the surprise of a few, McNamee kept his slot on the right-wing. With Wes Hoolahan roaming as well, it was certainly a bold move by the Scot.
But in the business end of the season, it’s all about getting your hands on maximum points. And Lambert has never been afraid to take a risk.
“I always keep saying that we’ve got to try and win more games than not and I think the best way to do that is to attack people and I thought the two of them [McNamee and Hoolahan] did fine.
“Wes came out on the left where Chrissy Martin was and vice versa. The lads have shown me that they can adapt to different formations which is great.”
Asked whether he was aware of Leeds’ 2-2 draw at west Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield, Lambert confirmed that he knew the score before City kicked off.
But whatever their promotion rivals do from now until May, the Canary boss is just concentrating on his side.
And he’s absolutely delighted with the position they’ve put themselves in with just 12 games remaining.
“Yes, we were aware [of the Leeds result] but we can’t influence what happens anywhere else. We can only try and win our own games and it was another big three points.
“We’re doing fine and we’ve done absolutely brilliantly to get ourselves into this position because in my first game, people just wanted us to get into the play-offs.”
City: Forster; R Martin, Doherty, Nelson, Rose; McNamee (Spillane 80), Smith, Lappin, Hoolahan (Hughes 67), Holt, C Martin (Johnson 80). Subs not used: Steer, Adeyemi, McVeigh, Gill.
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