Norwich City fan Edward Seaman says: Manager uses his squad strength to great effect

Columnist Edward Seaman

Columnist Edward Seaman

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Just 270 minutes separate Norwich City from an instant return to the Premier League after back-to-back away wins.

It adds to Alex Neil’s astonishing unbeaten away record, with eight wins and two draws.

The main thing to come out of the victories over Bolton and Leeds was the strength in depth, and Neil’s ability to use it.

There were questions over how we would cope without Bradley Johnson but answered they were.

The performances were by no means vintage but at this stage of the season it is all about the ability to grind out three points, and Gary Hooper’s last-ditch winner at Bolton certainly showed that.

Neil’s decision to throw on both Hooper and Lewis Grabban, while leaving on Cameron Jerome was both bold and brave and it reaped the rewards as Hooper finished expertly at the death.

It had all the hallmarks of Derby 2011, and highlighted the desire of this team to win promotion.

With Middlesbrough and Bournemouth winning, Tuesday’s 2-0 win at Leeds was equally as massive.

After a poor first half, Neil’s ‘wee chat’ at half-time certainly changed the game.

It was written in the stars for former Leeds captain Jonny Howson to score and it was a mark of his professionalism not to celebrate.

Credit John Ruddy, who has had his critics this season, but whose excellent save at 1-0 preserved City’s valuable lead before Graham Dorrans secured the points late on.

It sets us up nicely for what has all the ingredients to be a Carrow Road classic tonight as we host Middlesbrough.

Going into the game a point ahead of them, a win would almost guarantee we finish above them and move a step closer to promotion – so let’s create an atmosphere worthy of the occasion and roar the boys on.

Finally, congratulations to Nathan Redmond who has been nominated for Young Player of the Year at the Football League awards, capping a solid season.