It was safe to say that Tuesday`s fixture was never going to be a drab 0-0, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. A real nail biter from the first minute to the last.
I would argue that two of the major factors, that saw us come away with a pretty respectable draw, were our luck and our resilience at both ends of the pitch.
City I feel yesterday evening had plenty of bad luck and plenty of good luck, with the latter prevailing to see us earn a point. Luckily! I think everybody was nervous at what the starting XI would be after Alex Neil had warned that there would be three or four ‘late calls` on fitness. Unfortunately we saw many key faces missing. We were left with a diminished XI and a weak bench with not a lot of options for subs, it may have been a slightly different story could we have had players like Mulumbu, Oliviera and Naismith to come and leave their mark on the game.
Conversely to our bad luck with injuries before the game, the football Gods paid us back with our fair share of good fortune after kick off. Mitrovic and Ritchie both had good efforts rattle off the woodwork and of course, the biggest slice of fortune of all, when Karl Darlow forgot that you’re supposed to kick the ball! What a howler.
Besides some good fortune, by no means do I think that we were lucky to get away with a point. I think we showed a lot of fight and desire. Once we went 1-0 down, after a defensive howler of our own, it would have been very easy for us to let our heads drop and be left with the prospect of being two or three goals down at half time. Instead we got ourselves back onto the front foot and, thanks to the tireless work of the wonderful Cameron Jerome, we got ourselves two quick fire goals. Jerome showed a lot of character to continue to chase down and be in the centre of the action after the early goal and he deserves all the credit in the world. This desire I believe had been lacking from the Norwich team during our barren spell and is another key factor that has contributed to our recent revival of form.
His desire not stopping in the attack, Jerome also found himself at the heart of the defence as well. The whole team showed a resilience and desire to defend during the second half. Newcastle were able to turn the screw as the half went on but, despite this, we stood strong. The beastly figure of Mitchell Dijks gave every effort to keep us ahead, along with the rest of the defence. The lack of Pinto and his replacement Whittaker may have been the biggest worry for City fans but, credit where its due, I thought Whittaker gave a solid performance. Special mention to Ruddy for some excellent goalkeeping throughout and to Tettey for his MOTM midfield performance. Even when Newcastle equalised I thought we showed some real fight to win a point and the boys deserve every credit for that.
Lets hope we can hold onto our good fortune and resilience as we continue to push up the table.