Marcelino Nunez is now ‘one of the first names’ on David Wagner’s Norwich City team sheet.

The Chilean international opened his goal account for the season with a superb whipped free kick in the 1-1 Championship draw at Blackburn.

Nunez has benefitted in recent weeks from City’s bid to try and exert more control on the ball, and the positional flexibility around Kenny McLean and Gabby Sara.

Wagner was critical of Nunez’s sloppiness earlier in his City career, but feels the 23-year-old is emerging as a more rounded operator for the play-off hopefuls.

“At the moment he is one of the first names on the team sheet, because he is consistently playing on a very high, high level,” said Wagner. “That is defensively as well, because he always covers 12.5kms, 13kms. He is aggressive enough, even if he is not the tallest, but he runs like hell. And obviously technically you can see what he's able to do.

"This will be crucial now until the end of the season that you can freshen up when you need, that you can maybe decide because of tactical reasons to go with a different type of profile in your squad in the centre back position, in the midfield position, in the wider position as well. And at the minute hopefully, we can keep them all healthy.”

City’s south American duo have served up two free kick specials in the last two Championship games, a fact Wagner insists is a reflection of his side’s better work in possession.

“At the beginning of the season we didn't create so many central free kicks, like we have done now,” he said. “We have players, more than only one, who's capable of doing what they've shown (in the last two games).

“The big difference is that, in ball possession, we play good football so we get much more central free kicks in recent weeks. Now our field position is much better, and the set up brings confidence to create in those dangerous areas.

"Obviously you are more likely to be fouled in those dangerous areas. I don't know how many central free kicks we have had in the last four or five games, a lot of them, and Gabi and Nacho are starting to convert them.”