Another wonderful victory at Carrow Road against Brighton on Friday. Unfortunately tinged with irritation of how good we could have been this season and redemption for Sky Sports viewers who’s last look at Norwich was against Huddersfield.
The game technically meant nothing, but there was revenge to be taken against a Brighton side who battered Norwich 5-0 at the Amex earlier in the season. Also there’s always a sweet satisfaction in stopping a victory party as Norwich were able to do.
When you add in the return of Chris Hughton, and a bit of Brighton hostility towards Alex Pritchard, you have yourself a delicious cocktail and the possibility of a hugely satisfying victory.
I was, admittedly, slightly disappointed with the team named on the evening. Chiefly due to the omission of James Maddison from the starting XI and the omission of Ben Godfrey on the bench. I really thought Friday should have been an opportunity for them, but the decision was perhaps justified by an excellent victory.
Norwich gave a very accomplished performance, all to rarely seen this season of course, which hinged mainly on two key elements: Alex Pritchard`s right foot? and David Stockdale`s back. A truly unique occurrence when two separate shots from Pritchard rebound off the woodwork then off Stockdale and into the net surprising the whole stadium.
Desperately unlucky for the keeper himself, but even so it cannot be taken away how good Pritch was on Friday. He was deft of touch and a danger all night long, Brighton at times could not handle him. There was also added pressure from the Brighton fans on him given the whole transfer story last summer, he really stepped up in the face of this though. It is quickly becoming apparent that he is the player to build the attack around next season.
When Interviewed before the game, Stuart Webber suggested on `12 to 15` of the squad on the back of the programme would remain at the start of next season and you can bet your life a thousand times over that Pritchard is at the very top of that list of those who Webber will want to stay.
As for who the others will be they have two games left to prove they deserve a place. Each of the canary faithful have their own opinion of course, I will be laying mine out after the final two games are up (for those of you who might be wondering).
Kudos should go to our defence as well, perhaps quite surprisingly. Particularly to Russell Martin, making his 300th appearance for the club. A huge congratulations and thank you to him. Not many teams have been able to keep the attacking power of Brighton quiet this season but they did so admirably well.
Once again, after the match, and a wonderful victory, my thoughts turned to the fact of how good this side really is. The disappointment remains that we should have been in the play-offs, at the very least, at the end of this season. Such is the way of football I suppose.
City now only have two games left of the season and, arguably, we will want revenge against them just as much as Brighton, having lost to both. Hopefully, given this, Alan Irvine can instill in the players the desire to go out with the same performance levels as Friday and end this season (and his temporary reign) on a high.
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