THE NORWICH VIEW: It was crucial to get first win ahead of key fixtures
While the performance against Preston was hardly one to set the pulses racing, the importance of Norwich City’s first three points of the season should not be downplayed.
It’s fair to say that any lingering flames of early season optimism were well and truly extinguished by Sheffield United’s late winner last weekend – in turn leading to questions being asked of Daniel Farke and his side.
And in all honesty, Wednesday night’s performance did little to answer some of those questions, but at least City’s season is finally up and running.
In some ways it’s quite funny that after three decent performances – in which I would argue City failed to pick up the points they deserved – it was the most disjointed effort that led to a first victory.
I think the nature of the defeat at Bramall Lane, coupled by how our visitors sat behind the ball, played a part in a tepid performance in which there was a real lack of confidence and creativity on the ball.
But after a stroke of fortune – when Preston’s Callum Robinson smashed the ball against the underside of the bar – City were able to take the lead, thanks to another smart finish from Teemu Pukki.
The goal made it four in four for the Pukki/Jordan Rhodes partnership – and lifted the ever-growing sense of tension.
From there on in, City played with more swagger with Alex Tettey – who didn’t have his best game in a yellow shirt – sealing the deal with a cracking effort from distance.
But the three points must now provide a springboard – with top-of-the-table Leeds United visiting tomorrow.
As impressive as Leeds have been so far this season, another victory would lift City to within three points of Marcelo Bielsa’s side – and leave Farke’s boys in good shape heading into the first East Anglian derby of the season.