Paddy Davitt delivers his Blackburn verdict after a stirring Championship win at Ewood Park.

1. Will the real City please stand up?

If this was the last chance saloon, Norwich City got another round in. After the frustration, post-Millwall, this was a reminder of why fans let themselves get carried away in the manner they did following that character-filled comeback at the Lions.

Fresh adversity into the bargain in the way they lost both centre backs to injury, after the pre-match news Kenny McLean faced a battle to be back for what remains of the finale with a knee ligament injury.

David Wagner showed his hand with a bullish selection that saw Liam Gibbs deployed in an attacking number 10 role, flanked by the pace and direct thrust of Marquinhos and the fit-again Onel Hernandez, behind central striker Josh Sargent.

But what a pay-off. Gibbs produced a stunning finish while Hernandez provided the assist for another top drawer entry from Gabby Sara.

Angus Gunn came to the party in the final quarter, given Blackburn’s desperation, but there was a control and composure to match the clinical intent.

This was definitely a positive step under Wagner. But they cannot afford any more stumbles.

2. Hat tip to Mr Wagner

Most understand the tough hand Wagner inherited from Dean Smith. Pick up a squad producing considerably less than the sum of their individual parts, in Championship grade, and emulate what he had previously achieved in England at Huddersfield.

The difference there of course is the German need half a season to bed in the groundwork before the Terriers embarked on something of a fairytale rise that culminated in Wembley play-off glory and the Premier League.

Wagner’s opening forays at Preston and Coventry in the league merely serve to whet the appetite.

While the manner of that Millwall win appeared to carry the potential to harness a second wind. But the currents have been adverse since.

Against Sheffield United last time, perhaps for the first time, the focus was on Wagner rather than his players’ collective deficiencies. Set against that backdrop of a team packed with latent goalscoring potential which had only mustered one goal in four outings, and against the Blades one shot on target in the 92nd minute.

But this was a perfect riposte. In terms of his personnel and the set up to entice Blackburn on and launch devastatingly precise counters, Wagner delivered to the brief.

Blackburn had not lost at Ewood Park in the league since December 29. That is the measure of this victory, and Wagner’s central role in it.  

3. He’s one of our own

You detect a delicious extra layer of delight to that terrace chant from the travelling support when it is directed towards Gibbs.

This product of Ipswich Town’s academy, from an Ipswich-supporting family, notched his first professional goal in green and yellow. It was a majestic finish. The cushioned touch with his left to take it away from the defender, and then the composure to sidefoot a rising right footer beyond Aynsley Pears into his top corner to open the scoring inside the first 15 minutes.

It happened in a blur of motion and technical proficiency but it underlined again why there has been a desire to see Gibbs restored to frontline action, after his early season flourish was curtailed by injury.

The change in management has felt like something of a reset for young player who had to prove himself all over again to Wagner.

In the German’s defence he has spoken glowingly about Gibbs’ talent, but was wrestling with the issue of where to find a place for him in his Norwich midfield. Perhaps inadvertently those injuries to Marcelino Nunez and McLean may have presented an opportunity.

Later in the second half, when Jacob Sorensen was re-deployed to cover at centre back, Gibbs found himself in a more withdrawn area. Wagner has previously expressed his concern whether he has the physicality to operate in front of a back four at this stage of his young career.

But full of adrenaline he did not neglect his duties out of possession. It was an all-round display from a player who must be part of the future. And maybe the present.

4. Injury pain

Not one but two centre backs on the injury list was a costly by-product to this Championship renewal.

Hanley looked in agony as his concerned team mates motioned for the stretcher. Wagner confirmed after the game the captain had a suspected Achilles injury to his right leg. Scans will now assess how long the towering defender will be out.

Alongside him, Ben Gibson pulled his right hamstring just past the hour mark. It left Andrew Omobamidele partnering Sorensen at Ewood Park.

Wagner has already ruled the duo out of Rotherham’s Monday visit to Carrow Road.

Sam Byram and Isaac Hayden could come into the mix if they continue their returns to first team training with no side effects over the Easter weekend.

Wagner also appeared to rule McLean out for the rest of the regular season. The Scottish midfielder damaged knee ligaments in the closing stages of the defeat to Sheffield United and will miss six to eight weeks. No surgery required but it would take a full on play-off push for McLean to return this campaign.

Norwich found a way through such adversity at Blackburn. So much so Wagner labelled it the biggest win of his tenure so far. But it will be some test of the depth of his squad from here if he is deprived three key senior players for the run in.

5. Happy Hernandez

In a desperate bid to find some upbeat fitness-related news in the midst of a fresh gloomy bulletin, Hernandez’s return from an ankle issue could not be better timed.

Norwich have badly missed the version who was producing assists on a weekly basis. He added another to his growing collection on his first start since March 12 when he showed for Sorensen, and then released Sara with a perfectly-timed ball the Brazilian whipped past Pears into the opposite top corner.

It was the type of decisive action that marks this Hernandez version out as different to the one who had a tendency to frustrate with his end product of final decision.

There was another example in the first half, when he showed the awareness of his team mates around him to shovel the ball infield for Max Aarons to test Pears.

Wagner, prior to Hernandez’s recent injury, talked about the elements the Cuban needed to add to his game. He made a point of highlighting the defensive side of a wide player’s craft within his strategy.

There was evidence again of that dimension in the closing stages when he provided back up for Dimi Giannoulis as Blackburn probed for a lifeline.

In a week when it was confirmed Teemu Pukki will depart at the end of his contract, this shift was another reminder Hernandez must be retained at all costs.

It is not simply the affinity he has with large swathes of the Norwich fan base. It is the impact he can have on the park, in a Wagner team set up to raid with pace and power.