City boss Neil Adams stuffed every last Norfolk stocking full of Christmas good cheer this afternoon as his rejuvenated Canaries whacked visitors Millwall for six.
The Lions roared just once by way of return as Norwich delighted the home faithful with a 6-1 win – a result that kept them seventh in the Championship table and, more importantly, ensured that the wind was billowing through their sails again following that late autumn caught squarely in the doldrums.
Coming on the back of the 5-0 stroll against Huddersfield in their last Carrow Road outing, team, manager and supporters all have their mojo back and the top six know full well that Norwich are back in the play-off running again.
Adams even had time to give the City fans a glimpse of the future as former Falkirk starlet Conor McGrandles his first taste of Championship football after his reported £1 million switch south this summer.
All in all, it was the complete festive treat of for the supporters; few of whom will quibble as to whether it is the hand of Adams or new coach Mile Phelan at work as the results finally start to match the performances in front of either goal.
“I’m really pleased with the performance – from start to finish,” said Adams afterwards. “We were clinical – but could have scored a lot more.”
Consistent performances are starting to flow off the back of consistent team selections as Adams stuck largely to an increasingly winning formula with Gary O’Neil adding that little extra nous at the heart of a beefy midfield. His one and only change came in the shape of a start for Nathan Redmond in the absence of Alexander Tettey.
It is all allowing Bradley Johnson to shine. For the second home match in a row the one-time Arsenal youngster scored twice; as did Gary Hooper.
All four goals came after the break after Messrs Jerome and Whittaker had repeated their own goal-scoring feats against the Rams last time out.
Suddenly the goals are flying in from all directions; the only blot on the copybook was Millwall’s late consolation. But with City already five goals clear and coasting through the gears, so the manager was in little mood to quibble.
Momentum is back – both with his side and his own managerial career.
“We’ve put together some really good results recently – the key now is to keep the momentum going.”
With Ipswich pulling off an eye-catching 4-2 away win at Brentford, the odds on the two great East Anglian rivals locking horns in the play offs shorten by the week.
There is, of course, the January transfer window to look forward to; both clubs may yet find the Premier League’s finest circling their brightest young talents.
Adams will breathe a sigh of relief should Redmond still be here on February 1.
As bright and breezy as today’s performance was, City did find Millwall keeper David Forde in particularly giving mood as Whittaker’s opener went straight through him on 13 minutes. Five minutes later as Jerome was rolling the ball nti an empty net following a horrible clearance.
At which point the contest was all but over. Johnson and Hooper helped themselves after the interval to leave the Canaries flying high again.