From naughty step to top of the class for Emi

Norwich City attacker Emi Buendia will be vital at Villa Park after a superb display against Wolves

Norwich City attacker Emi Buendia will be vital at Villa Park after a superb display against Wolves Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Emi Buendia has gone from bad boy to role model at Norwich City.

The Argentinian turned in one of his best performances for the Canaries but ended on the losing side in the 2-1 Premier League defeat to Wolves.

City need Buendia to carry on where he left off on Boxing Day at Aston Villa after becoming only the second player in the last 15 years to create nine chances and the same number of dribbles in one top-flight game.

Buendia was left out by Daniel Farke for one costly 'nursery' error too many recently but has roared back.

"Emi was criticised and a bit punished for his naïve or selfish behaviour during the beginning of the season and he learned his lesson in a fantastic way," said Farke. "It is difficult as a young player to be left out and to accept the reasons but to come back stronger is a big credit to him.

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"It shows real personality and character to come back and how he responded since he returned to the side is fantastic.

"Wolves was an outstanding performance. Not only his magic but his workload and how he worked for his team.

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"Emi was a role model. I thought we had several who were fantastic and he was one of them."

City needs points as well as performances to stand any chance of hauling themselves out of the bottom three.

"It is difficult for us to look at the table because we feel we deserve more points," he said, with Norwich and Villa both in the relegation zone ahead of today's Villa Park duel.

"We have to stay mentally strong and concentrate on what we can influence and if we go on this way we will win many, many points.

"When I think about the last two games the performance level has been fantastic.

"We deserved to win at Leicester. We deserved a win against Wolves.

"We can't be too addicted to the league table otherwise I might not have been in a position to sign a new long term contract.

"I knew exactly what was coming. Even after promotion without spending money this was going to be a tough season and a long road with a fight until the last game day to create maybe a big sensation.

"We can't bake or paint a result, we can only influence our performance and for that I can't accuse my players for that Wolves performance."

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