Paddy Davitt delivers his Cardiff verdict after Norwich City’s impressive win.

1. From boos to cheers

The moment David Wagner stepped off the team bus as it rolled in behind the City stand this felt different. ‘David, take us to Wembley’ was one of the positive chants from the home fans waiting to greet their side as he disembarked.

A world away from the toxicity that unfolded early in the second half of the previous Watford home win. Stoked by Wagner’s right of reply in his post-match media.

The German conceded his words may have had too much sting when he appeared the next time in public, but the intervening days appear to have had a galvanising rather than a corrosive effect.

Home goals scored in the pre-match warm up from Norwich’s substitutes seemed to be greeted with extra relish. It took 15 minutes in before chants of ‘David Wagner’s yellow army’ rippled around the stadium.

Even Cardiff taking a lead totally against the run of play did nothing to dent the unity or dim the urge for all those in attendance to rally behind the same cause.

Once Josh Sargent levelled the result was never in doubt. Those fans who trooped away after Watford with a strange conflicted sense from watching their team win, but the head coach booed on a night they returned to the top six, will have left Carrow Road on this occasion counting the days, maybe the hours, before they could do it all again.

Wagner was applauded, along with his players and coaching staff, as they rightly took the acclaim at the final whistle.

There was even a special handshake for one supporter desperate to press the flesh with the German. If a week is a long time in politics, it is a chasm in this Championship tour for Norwich.

2. Gold standard

Great to see Gabby Sara return to that high plateau he was occupying as one of the best creators in the Championship this season, along the likes of Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall and Crysencio Summerville.

The 24-year-old is too good at this level not to be weighing in with goal contributions. A 12-game drought without either a goal, or an assist, ended at QPR last weekend with that corner routine finished by Kenny McLean.

Then he scored the crucial third goal in the midweek win over Watford to quell the boos and underline again what a classy, calm, composed finisher he is in those high pressure moments.

The free kick to double Norwich’s lead against the Bluebirds in the final seconds of another Carrow Road home romp was a thing of beauty, as it arrowed over the Cardiff wall and beyond the grasp of the despairing Ethan Horvath.

The reason for the baby-themed celebration was confirmed afterwards by his manager, with the Brazilian and his partner seemingly expecting a new arrival. 

Sara now has seven goals and nine Championship assists in 33 appearances. Even with that mid-season dip he remains a crucial component in the Canaries’ gathering play-off bid. In Wagner he has a head coach who needs no convincing.

Although as the German wryly indicated in his post-match briefing, he would like to see more of those set piece specials he sees at close quarters on the training pitches of Colney every week from Sara and his fellow south American, Marcelino Nunez. 

3. Cotton wool

The latest stage of Colney’s multi-million pound transformation set in train by Stuart Webber was the opening this season of a new recovery hub. It will be worth every penny if it can ensure Sargent remains fit and available for the run-in.

Wagner’s cautionary pre-match fitness bulletin on the US forward would have left many Norwich fans uneasy. Sargent needed to prove his fitness at Friday’s final training session to be included. This came after the revelation he only trained on the Friday the previous week, before making his presence felt again at QPR.

Thankfully Sargent stepped off the bus and into the Norwich starting line up. He departed approaching the final quarter with two more goals to his tally, and the applause rolling around Carrow Road for another impressive centre forward display.

To have scored 10 league goals now in 13 Championship appearances – either side of a near four month lay-off due to that ankle injury – is to perhaps underline again there can surely be few other Championship players who are so vital to their respective teams.

Norwich look a completely different outfit with Sargent leading the line rampaging across the park in tandem with Ashley Barnes; a player who himself looks far more threatening with the muscular presence of the American.

Given the injured Jon Rowe is unlikely to return much before the end of the campaign, Sargent is the difference-maker from here.

4. Clap for Ken

Ken Aboh stepping off the team bus prior to kick-off, and into his first Norwich City matchday squad, will have sparked an extra frisson of excitement among those clued up fans who have heard the name, and seen the prolific goalscoring record in development football this season.

Aboh is a striker with all the natural talent to go very far. Wagner confirmed afterwards he is a fan and intrigued by Aboh, and believes he has the skillset to shine in green and yellow. 

The fear remains after Norwich have helped polish a raw gem it will be another club who reap the benefit come the summer, if that contract offer from the Canaries is spurned by Aboh and his advisors. There are many strands to unpick in that equation.

It may already be too late, given the interest from around the game and the chatter around a rising star is too big for Ben Knapper to make a persuasive case.

But it will surely not hinder if Aboh can see more first team involvement down the stretch this season under a sporting director who clearly views the youth pathway as a backbone of his mid to longer term strategy.

Aboh came up the academy ranks with Alex Matos, was departed last summer for Chelsea. A few minutes in the Premier League from the bench for the expensively-assembled Blues’ squad was the precursor to ending the season on loan at Huddersfield.

Knapper must strain every sinew from here to convince Aboh and his advisors Norwich remains the best place for the next phase of his development.

After Wagner had dismissed the viability of showcasing any of the brightest talents at Liverpool in the recent FA Cup defeat, 24 hours after a development outing across the north-west in Manchester, Aboh’s inclusion in the Bluebirds matchday squad was a welcome sight. One can only hope there is more to come.