‘This is all we can do’ – City midfielder on the ideal end to a difficult week

Norwich City celebrate James Maddison's winning goal at Ashton Gate, as they condemned Bristol City to a fifth successive defeat. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Norwich City celebrate James Maddison's winning goal at Ashton Gate, as they condemned Bristol City to a fifth successive defeat. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

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Norwich City midfield Mario Vrancic admitted EFL Championship victory at Bristol City was the perfect response to a tough week.

Not for the first time this season, he was the difference for Norwich City - James Maddison salutes the travelling support after his Bristol City winner. 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesNot for the first time this season, he was the difference for Norwich City - James Maddison salutes the travelling support after his Bristol City winner. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Much has been made of Alex Pritchard’s £11m-plus departure to Huddersfield Town plus Yanic Wildschut’s loan switch to Cardiff – two noticeable Friday departures that made for a tough mood heading to Ashton Gate.

But one wonderful team goal finished by James Maddison and a huge late save from Angus Gunn later – plus the prospect of a free FA Cup third round replay hit at Chelsea in midweek – and the feeling significantly lightened, especially for 1,200 Canaries fans that made the long trek west to Bristol.

“Of course a win like this after this week feels amazing,” said Vrancic. “We lost two good players and it’s not my thing to comment on that. We hope to get some new players but it’s not really for me to say.

“We are pretty sad we lost two really good players but the win keeps us all happy. No one expected us to win here I think and everyone was a bit sad at Alex and Yanic leaving us.

Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke, Josh Murphy and Angus Gunn embrace at full time following a superb 1-0 win over Bristol City at Ashton Gate. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesNorwich City head coach Daniel Farke, Josh Murphy and Angus Gunn embrace at full time following a superb 1-0 win over Bristol City at Ashton Gate. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

“But we can’t change these things, so we can just bring our performance on the pitch. That’s all we can do.”

MORE: The one thing Norwich City need to make sure they don’t miss from Alex Pritchard’s exit

City’s Bosnian midfielder played his part, for the first time alongside Alex Tettey, as Daniel Farke’s side extended their unbeaten run to five games, picked up a fourth clean sheet and remarkably moved within six points of the Championship play-off places.

“It was a really hard-fought win, really hard,” added Vrancic. “We knew it would be a really difficult game and it’s difficult to defend against Bristol, but we are so happy we could win this game.

“Definitely we had to work hard. We knew it would be hard against Bristol to defend and we did it really well in the first half. We had some really good chances in that half as well, and we were not able to score.

MORE: Fair play to Bristol City, the club doing proving football can do long term

“And of course, the pressure in the second half was then a bit high. But all in all, we defended really well. We knew that was going to be really hard but we gave our lives, and we got the benefit.”

Vrancic played his part in Maddison’s winning goal and saved praise for the City keeper that saved his team-mates.

“I was really surprised,” smiled Vrancic. “All of a sudden he came and he was there, and he saved us these three points.

“We are really happy we have him in our goal. He’s been really good for us this season and he’s saved us some points. He’s important for us.”

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