City boss Paul Lambert says his side are ready for the new Championship campaign, despite going down to Premier League Everton at Carrow Road this afternoon.
A Tim Cahill hat-trick and a Diniyar Bilyaletdinov effort sealed the victory for the Toffees and they were worth their 4-2 win.
But the Canaries created plenty of chances and were bright throughout, with the two new Andrews, Crofts and Surman, bringing the scores level at 2-2 at one stage after the Merseysiders led by two goals at the break.
And Lambert is pleased that pre-season is now done and dusted. Bring on the real stuff…
“There is no doubt we are ready and Friday night will be a totally different atmosphere from what it was today – and we will be ready.
“I’m glad it is all finished with to be honest and now it is for real. The way we are playing at the moment we are more than ready. Our general play was excellent and we created chances against, in my view, a top Premier League side.
“I thought it was another good game today against a really good side. I thought we played well, I really did. The first two goals were grave errors from ourselves but we got back in the game and I thought we did really well.”
The Scot was obviously not overly impressed with the manner in which City conceded those first two, with ‘keeper John Ruddy letting Cahill’s first squirm under him to give the Toffees a seventh minute lead.
Centre-back pairing Michael Nelson and Elliott Ward were then at fault for the second via a sloppy back pass and Nelson’s poor chested knockdown to Ruddy.
And Lambert will be hoping those mistakes aren’t repeated when the real action starts in six days time, when Malky Mackay’s Watford come to town.
“As I have said before, it is irrelevant results-wise in pre-season but of course you want to win every game,” he continued, speaking to the press after the game.
“You can’t legislate for the mistakes made but all credit to the boys, they came back strongly and some of the football we played was excellent.
“If we are going to make mistakes I would rather they happen in friendly games so that is us ready for Friday now.”
Despite today’s reverse, the Canaries received a huge boost with the return of skipper Grant Holt after a thigh injury.
And after coming on for the last 18 minutes, he must now be in contention for that Hornets date on Friday, even if the Canary chief wasn’t giving too much away.
“It is important; you need all your players out there. He has not done too much and whether he is match fit or not remains to be seen. But it is good to have him back.
“I really don’t know whether he’ll be fit for Friday – I’ll decide later on. But I thought Martin and Jackson looked really sharp and Crofts was terrific for us. I am delighted with the way we are going, I really am.”
City: Ruddy; R. Martin, Nelson, Ward (Askou 72), Drury (Lappin 66); Crofts, Surman (McNamee 81), Fox (Gill 66); Hoolahan; C Martin (Johnson 81), Jackson (Holt 72).
Subs not used: Steer, Hughes, Francomb, Dawkin, Tudur Jones.