After a match like last night’s against Chris Hughton’s Nottingham Forest, it would be very easy to say that we did just enough for our 2-1 win, with *barely enough* doubtless the phrase of choice for those of a pessimistic disposition.
I’ll push the boat out a little bit more than that and air the view that we did an unadulterated plain old *enough* and deserved the three points for an excellent first-half display although I will admit we had some dodgy moments in the second half.
These words from Daniel Farke after the game sum the situation up perfectly for me:
“Probably one of the proudest moments of the season so far for me. To win this game feels massive and important for us. I am pretty happy. We have to deliver every three days and we are doing it without so many key players. Plus every opponent seems to raise their game and play as if they have nothing to lose.
“If I am honest I am not spending much attention on where we are in the table. But what I do spend a lot of attention on is how many points we have on the board already. Our points average is fantastic.
“It gives us a bit of a comfort zone and we have players coming back.
“We have some tough away games but to have this cushion is excellent. If we have a bad day or a poor result we are still in a good position. That gives us so much confidence.”
Well I’m certainly with you there Daniel, and for me three things made this a particularly pleasant victory.
Firstly Jacob Sorensen scored his first goal for the club with a *take no prisoners* drive past Brice Samba just seconds before half-time after the Stieperdude’s cross to nobody in particular was weakly headed out by Yuri Robeiro. And if you want a time to notch your first strike for the Canaries Jacob, seconds before half-time in this match was the perfect time to do it.
Secondly, Max Aarons raised his bat to 100 appearances for Norwich City Football Club. Max is still 20 fer chrissakes! An England Under-21 regular and with a complete Premier League season under his belt. No wonder the slightly fragile-looking Barcelona extended their tentacles his way in the summer.
Whenever he moves on – and he will, they all do – I’m sure he’ll make the right choice at the right time as he seems like such a grounded, level-headed lad.
And thirdly, of course, was possibly the most cheering sight of the lot as we looked towards that recently sparsely-occupied piece of furniture to Farke’s left, aka the bench. Well, last night it was almost full of course, and to see Todd Cantwell, Kenny McLean, Jordan Hugill and Kieran Dowell occupying their seats was a cause for some considerable optimism.
Bless me, Todd and the Mayor even got a few minutes on the pitch!
We could debate the Forest equaliser until the moo-moos come home. Anthony Knockaert is a good player [I mean that, I really believe he is] but surely that was a cross? Michael McGovern could claim he went for it too late because he expected a Forest player to get something on it.
We won the game, so there probably won’t be a major inquest at Colney concerning it but nevertheless, I’m hoping to hear another bulletin of positive news about Tim Krul tomorrow – all of us are if we’re honest.
Emi Buendia scored what proved to be the game’s match-winning goal when he was set up by Cantwell for a shot on he edge of the box which deflected off Forest skipper Joe Worrall’s head at some pace, leaving the hapless Samba stranded.
If you don’t shoot you don’t score and Emi was ample proof of that. Mind you he, Mario Vrancic and the Stieperdude also fired a few at Samba from distance during the first period, which was pleasing to see.
Then it only remained to manage a very jittery 20+ minutes when Forest had a string of corners but thankfully nothing became of them as the South Stand [I know, I know] began a largely masked chorus of *We are Top of the League*.
When we consider that we have so far managed to stick to that much-lauded *two points per game gets you up* [34 from 17] mantra against such a cruel backdrop of injuries it’s been one hell of an achievement.