Norwich City column: Jonathan Rowe’s stock continues rise during deserved derby draw at Ipswich Town
The character of this Norwich City team has justifiably come under serious scrutiny this season, but at Portman Road last Saturday, those boys did themselves – and our football club – extremely proud.
Like many, I genuinely feared David Wagner’s side would wilt in the heat of the first East Anglian derby since 2019. You only have to look at the pre-game scenes to see how much the occasion meant to our Suffolk neighbours.
But we rose to the challenge and delivered a performance full of passion and desire – and one that I thought was worthy of the point we came away with.
Look, there is no doubting who had the better of proceedings – and nor should that have been a surprise. Ipswich are a team full of quality and their league position speaks for itself. And despite his salty post-match comments, they are led by an outstanding young manager in Kieran McKenna.
It would also be wrong not to acknowledge that we did ride our luck at times during the first half. Had Nathan Broadhead had his shooting boots on, we could be sitting here talking about a very different outcome.
But spearheaded by the effervescent Jonathan Rowe, we remained focused, stuck to the game-plan and took our chances when they arrived.
What do you say about Rowe? The 20-year-old certainly talked the talk before the game, but backed it up with two extremely well-taken goals to ensure this generation of derby day dominance continues until April (at the very least).
Of course, there are lots of elements to his game that need working on, but it’s hard not to feel like the sky is the limit if he continues to stay humble and work hard to develop.
The challenge for Rowe and his team-mates is to build on this new-found sense of positivity over the Christmas period, when the games come thick and fast – starting with Huddersfield Town on Saturday, where three points is a must. Merry Christmas!