Norwich City column: Edward Seaman says Boxing Day win a huge relief
I think it’s fair to say my overwhelming emotion following the 2-0 Boxing Day win at Birmingham was one of relief.
After the defeat by Brentford last Friday, for the first time I was genuinely concerned that Daniel Farke’s Canaries could be sucked into a relegation dogfight.
As an eternal optimist, last week I wrote — perhaps somewhat naively — how the festive period could be a catalyst for City to reignite a play-off challenge.
But the sheer ineptness of the performance against Dean Smith’s side left me despairing — and fearing what was to come with a visit to bottom club Birmingham on the horizon.
But credit to Farke’s men for a performance at St Andrews that was both professional and mature, at a time when the pressure was seriously beginning to grow.
While it would be somewhat unfair to pinpoint the improved performance to one factor, you cannot ignore the impact of the return of Alex Tettey and Tom Trybull in midfield.
Trybull has rightly received plaudits since his arrival this summer, but for me the way Tettey screens and protects the back four is absolutely crucial.
It’s no coincidence that of the six league games Tettey has started this season City have won five and drawn one, conceding just one goal along the way.
I also want to praise Jamal Lewis, who followed up his debut from the bench against Brentford with his first start at Birmingham — and didn’t look out of place one bit.
We all love to see academy prospects thrive in the first team and Lewis looks like a player ready for that opportunity.
While the win at St Andrews certainly steadied the ship, it will mean nothing should City fail to follow it up with another three points at Burton tomorrow.
Here’s to ending a wretched 2017 on a high.