Barnett learns some valuable lessons
Defender Leon Barnett admitted he was still learning after helping Norwich City to a notable away victory – and fourth place in the Championship table.
The Canaries ended Derby’s run of six straight home wins with a 2-1 success at Pride Park, with the on-loan centre-half again a major contributor as they made it six games without defeat.
But Barnett appears to be his own biggest critic and said he was grateful to avoid his fifth yellow card and a one-match ban.
“It probably wasn’t my best game but the main thing was the team have won,” he said.
“Today maybe I could have got a booking. I think other referees probably would have given me a yellow straightaway and sometimes I need to think about what I do before I go in for a challenge. Maybe I get too tight.
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“Cully (Ian Culverhouse) and the gaffer are working on telling me to be a bit sensible because I’m still learning the game at the moment.”
It was, however, another outstanding scalp for Paul Lambert’s team as City beat both the weather and tough opponents, going above Nigel Clough’s Rams in the process.
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“It puts the pressure on the others now that we’ve played the extra game and got the points,” said Barnett.
“Derby is a massive club and haven’t lost in a while but we dug deep to the last minute and proved a few people wrong.
“I think people might have thought we would maybe roll over on this one but all the boys dug in and we got what we deserved.
“I think we’re learning every game. Sometimes when you’re under the cosh in the last few minutes you need one midfielder just to drop in and help the defenders out or maybe you need the goalkeeper to come for a cross, and we did things like that today and we did it more times than we did against Millwall or in other games where we drew.
“John Ruddy did well – he pulled off a great save in the first half and came for loads of crosses that took the pressure off us.”
Barnett’s future is still unclear with his loan from West Bromwich Albion running out on January 4.
He said: “I spoke to the manager. I think they’d love to keep me here and I’d love to stay here. But it’s down to the two clubs to agree a fee. I don’t know whether they’ve done that or maybe they’re going to wait until the end of the season and extend the loan.
“I’ve said from the start – Norwich are a massive club heading in the right direction and I want to be a part of their success.”