Pulis’ sides tend to see midfield as a nice to have, but not a necessity. And if they have to have one, then graft not craft is the order of the day. Run, run, run… Not pass, pass, pass. What it means for those already sat in the City dressing room is another interesting question.
“Jerome hadn’t trained all week because he had a tight hamstring and I just didn’t think that the system we chose would have suited Gary Hooper – and Lewis Grabban has trained very well since we came in.”
The more the Neil regime stutters a la Brentford, the more the Adams reign starts to shine. Not perhaps as the brightest star in the managerial firmament, but it will beg ever more pressing questions as to why, exactly, the former Youth coach was pointed in the direction of the gang-plank.
“He was asked to play a role that he’s not usually accustomed to playing and I thought he worked his socks off for the group. I didnt think he did particularly poor – to be honest, he was the least of my concerns today.”
Neil is not someone afraid to throw the kids in early – which is one, big reason Saints are where they are. And why Master McGrandles might have some fun before this season is out.
“This is only the start. I’ve only been in with the players three days in terms of full days training. And if I can get more of those first 60 minutes, then I’ll be really pleased…”
“The game has had a few twists and turns and obviously the sending off is a huge turning point. I was actually enjoying up in the stands up until that point, but obviously then everything changed.”
Should Phelan prove to be the chosen one, then his arrival was what Adams might have feared all along – that he was a manager in waiting; that Adams himself was a dead man walking. One more slip and he would be out.
“It goes without saying that I sincerely hope the team achieves success this season and I would like to say a huge thank you to the supporters who have backed me during my tenure as manager.”
“Coming into the game we were feeling good and confident – obviously it was disappointing to lose the game away at Reading,” he added. “But we knew coming here it was going to be a tough game, but as I said they out-worked us and deserved to beat us.”
The argument against Norwich is that they are seventh due to an inexperienced manager whose squad is under-performing given the ‘obvious’ talent that sits in that dressing room.
And yet there are vastly more experienced managers than Adams sitting in lowlier positions.
“I did think it was a soft penalty – whether Bradley had caught him or turned him, but the lad did appear to be facing his own goal when the penalty was given. But then we’ve gone and conceded a second and given ourselves a mountain to climb.”
“We’ve put together some really good results recently – the key now is to keep the momentum going.” 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.
“That was as good as we’ve played all season – and a point was the least we deserved,” added the Canary chief, delighted by the manner in which his side responded to Derby’s 43rd minute opener.
“Once the first goal went in then it seemed like every attack we were opening them up in the manner that we can – and the manner that we were at the start of the season.”
“It was a professional performance from the players,” added the City chief. “We got the tactics right – and we got the team right…
If a rocket was delivered at the break it didn’t fire too many people into life in the second-half. And come the final whistle – as Norwich made it just the one win in the last ten – the reaction of the paying public was wholly predictable.
“We’re making it too easy for teams at times,” he told BBC Radio Norfolk. “It’s hugely frustrating and disappointing – and that’s the understatement of the year…
As another international break looms, there is undoubtedly a large degree of navel-gazing afoot. Whether it is common to all clubs in this age of instant gratification and social media outrage, but poison and recrimination is never too far from the surface Carrow Road way.
“The spotlight falls on us all – managers, coaches, players. We’ve got to get back on track; get back to winning games. And it’s so galling. For 85 minutes it was all that we wanted – and we’ve thrown it all away.”