‘It was character-building’ – Rhodes sure Albion lessons will stand Norwich City in good stead
Norwich City came through a stern examination at West Bromwich Albion and will be all the better for it, according to Jordan Rhodes.
Norwich City came through a stern Hawthorns examination and will be all the better for it, according to Jordan Rhodes.
The Canaries’ promotion credentials, relative inexperience and character were all put under serious pressure in the early stages of their clash at Darren Moore’s high-flyers.
But City held on before getting a grip on the game, and eventually an equaliser through Rhodes’ ninth goal of the season.
It was a productive start to a bid run of games with Birmingham, Sheffield United, Leeds and Ipswich all on the horizon.
“Speaking from my experiences and having been in their shoes, I wasn’t playing Championship football but going to grounds and weathering storms, whether it was Leeds or Sheffield United, teams that were doing really well like MK Dons when I was at Huddersfield – they were really tough places to go and it was character-building,” said Rhodes.
“These are tough places with the crowd right behind them and 1-0 up, we could have quite easily buckled under that pressure. But we stood up and got a point from it, and we get to go home with something on the board.
“I don’t think it was a case of us not starting a game as we finished it. It was just a case of catching West Brom playing really well for that first half an hour. They are a team full of Premier League players. To come through that and live to tell the tale is really pleasing.
“Us forward men don’t know too much about defending and the importance of it, but I’m sure the coaching staff will tell us just how important that spell was and weathering the storm.”
Rhodes acknowledged Saturday’s draw underlined how hard-won promotion from the Championship will be this season.
“The teams that have come down from the Premier League and the ones that have built for many a year, they are all really poised,” Rhodes said.
“I think if you look at the top seven or eight, they are all really formidable clubs with good followings and good histories, and all near enough ready-made for the Premier League.
“I know eight doesn’t go into three particular well so something has got to give and we’ve just got to do our best game by game, keep building, keep working – then we can see where that takes us come early May or the end of May, whatever that may be.
“We find ourselves in the mix of that group of eight or so and we’ve deserved that place so far, so why not continue it? Why not keep building on it and see where it takes us?
“It’s going to be a really tough ask because there are some really good teams in there, but game by game we need to try our best.”
• For the latest Norwich City news and opinion follow Michael Bailey on the following channels…