For all the scouting, training and hours of meticulous preparation that go into plotting a victory, sometimes nothing can be more valuable than a slice of good fortune.
That’s not to say Norwich City’s 1-0 victory at West Brom last Saturday was lucky, and of course preparation isn’t key, but as Matt Jarvis’ miss-hit found its way to Robbie Brady, our first three points in 77 torturous day was guaranteed.
In all honesty, the weekend couldn’t have gone any better for City, with the winner of the North-East derby on Sunday being, well, us in Norfolk.
Newcastle’s draw with Sunderland keeps Alex Neil’s side out of the relegation zone and has provided a renewed optimism that City might just avoid the drop.
With momentum on our side, the international break could have come at a better time but it does give me the opportunity to reflect on the win at the Hawthorns.
For the first time this season, Neil interestingly reverted to a 4-4-2 formation. In terms of performance, I don’t think a lot changed. City didn’t look any more creative, mustering just one shot on goal.
However, with two solid banks of four, we importantly managed to carry forward a new-found defensive strength.
A lot of credit for the back-to-back clean sheets has to go to Timm Klose, who was again immense. More than ability, he’s brought organisation and leadership to the back four which in turn has allowed those around him – who have at times been prone to looking lost – to fall into place and focus on their defending.
I was also impressed with Martin Olsson. A proper left back, I like the way he and Robbie Brady link-up on the left-hand side, allowing Brady to show his offensive qualities and to get into the box where goals are scored.
Enjoy the rest before the run-in; it’s going to be hectic.