Brave decisions paid off for Norwich City boss at Reebok
Last time City were in the Premier League it took the team 14 games before they registered their first victory.
This time the lads achieved this feat in their fifth game on Saturday when they earned a win against the Trotters.
I can’t emphasise enough what a huge three points the victory over Bolton is. It moved the club up to 13th in the league. Yes, it’s still very early days, but I’d rather be there than in the bottom three.
And, let’s be honest, it’s only what the lads have deserved after some very strong performances in the first four games.
Paul Lambert made some big decisions before the trip up to the north west. He made six changes to the team that lost to WBA, two of which I think would have surprised the majority of the Yellow Army.
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It couldn’t have been easy for Paul to leave Andrew Crofts out of the starting line-up as he’s been outstanding since his arrival at the club. However, I think it would have been even harder for him to make the decision to start with Grant Holt on the bench.
He’s been unbelievable in his two years at Carrow Road and is an inspirational captain on and off the pitch. I am sure the two lads would have responded in the right manner to having been left out on Saturday as they know they have a big part to play in keeping the club in the Premier League. At the end of the day, a manager gets paid to make big and brave decisions and we all know that fortune favours the brave.
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Two players I have to mention from the Bolton game are Russell Martin and David Fox, both of whom have been very unlucky not to be in the side of late.
Both have had to be patient before getting their chance on Saturday. Russell was outstanding in the heart of defence, while Fox gave the team what they’ve probably been missing in recent games, a bit of creativity in central areas.
He has a fantastic range of passing and can open things up for the forward players. What he also gives you is fantastic delivery from set pieces, as we saw on Saturday.
It’s Steve Bruce’s Sunderland on Monday night in another live game on TV for the lads.
The Black Cats also won their first game of the season last weekend, which put them one place above us in the league but only on goal difference.
I never scored against Sunderland at Carrow Road, but I did break my nose playing against them back in 1999. If you’ve ever met me you will notice that I’ve got a bit of a bendy nose. In fact it’s that bad I can smell round corners!
That injury came from a deliberate flying elbow from their then hard man in midfield, Alex Rae. He did me a treat, to be honest! He saw me coming to close him down from behind and out came the elbow and snap went my nose.
I had to go off for about five minutes so Tim Sheppard could put my nose back into place, and although I returned I never got the chance to even things up. Steve knows the club really well as he was a great player here but let’s give him a red-hot reception on Monday night and get right behind the lads, as you always do. Let’s hope the lads can build on the great win at the Reebok Stadium.