'He was brilliant' - City ace hails winger's impact during latest win
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
The impact of winger Onel Hernandez during Norwich City’s latest win has been highlighted by team-mate Oliver Skipp.
The Cuban winger was brought on in the 65th minute with the score still 1-1 at Birmingham on Tuesday evening and sparked some attacking urgency.
Hernandez’s sharp pass had already seen Emi Buendia lay on a good chance for Teemu Pukki and in the 76th minute he beat his marker to a Kenny McLean pass into the box, to again find Buendia, whose shot deflected kindly for Pukki to reclaim the lead.
“I thought he was brilliant when he came on, even winning second balls, getting at defenders,” Tottenham loanee Skipp said of Hernandez after the 3-1 win.
“You see for the second goal he was driving at them and then we get that bit of luck that you’d say we deserved.
“It was definitely a big performance when coming on so it’s great to see him back and showing those levels again.”
The England Under-21 international continued his record of starting every Championship game so far this season for the leaders, starting alongside Kenny McLean during the four successive wins which have kept the Canaries clear at the summit.
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“I think Kenny has been brilliant since coming back from Covid and that spell before (his 10 days of self-isolation), getting goals and assists - even the last few games he’s played some fantastic longer balls,” Skipp said of the Scot.
“So he’s been brilliant to play alongside, I think we complement each other nicely. I can give him licence to make forward runs and to play those longer passes.
“But it’s not just Kenny, I think anyone that I’ve played with, with Tetts (Alex Tettey), with Lukas (Rupp), I think it’s easy because everyone has got the same philosophy and understand each other's game. So I love playing with all of them really.”
It was the 20-year-old's goal in the fifth minute of injury-time, unselfishly teed up by Rupp at the end of a rapid counter-attack, that added some gloss to the result against the Blues after a performance which didn’t meet Daniel Farke’s standards.
“It’s not always going to be pretty” Skipp added. “When you look at the pitch, no excuses, but it’s difficult sometimes to get our game going.
“We need to prove that we were capable of producing a second half like that because we all knew in the dressing room that the first half wasn’t good enough.
“A massive reaction and credit to everyone really, the subs I thought made a massive impact as well. You look at Onel coming on and being involved in the second goal, changing the game.
“Lukas with the assist, Jordan (Hugill) with a vital header, everyone really, it was an all-round big performance from everyone and it shows the squad as well.”