‘It’s class’ - Dowell savouring every drop of Canaries success
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
His patience was tested at times this season so Kieran Dowell was buzzing to play such an influential role in Norwich City wrapping up the Championship title.
The attacking midfielder’s brace either side of half-time saw the Canaries come from behind to lead Reading early in the second half, making it five goals in nine games for the 23-year-old.
Royals keeper Rafael also made a fantastic save to deny Dowell and also thwarted Teemu Pukki after a pinpoint chipped pass from the Everton youth product, but the Brazilian’s heroics couldn’t prevent the already-promoted hosts from romping to a 4-1 win at Carrow Road on Saturday.
“That’s what I came to Norwich to do, to get promoted to the Premier League, and we’ve done it at the first time of asking,” said Dowell amid the title party.
“The first half was a bit sticky but it was convincing in the end. The second half was really good, loads of goals and we could really relax at the end.”
It was Dowell’s superb free-kick winner at Derby last month which eventually sealed promotion, thanks to results elsewhere a fortnight ago sealing the deal for City ahead of a 3-1 home defeat to Bournemouth.
Celebrations of an immediate return to the Premier League soon broke out that night, as disappointment about the result wore off, but on this occasion it was job done and Daniel Farke’s players could cut loose, knowing they just have a dead rubber at Barnsley left to play.
“It’s class,” Dowell said as his team-mates bounced around nearby. “We’ve got a great group of lads.
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“It feels like we’ve been celebrating for ages because first you get promoted and then you’re champions!
“It’s a top bunch of lads and very good for everyone.”
City claimed top spot in mid-November and only briefly relinquished their lead to Brentford in February so were determined to earn the silverware they felt was deserved.
“The boss said that we know we’re the best team in the league, so it’s really nice to have that and confirm it,” Dowell added.
“Consistency is massive in this league. Reading had an amazing start, QPR have had an amazing finish, but we’ve been really good throughout and consistent through the whole season. So credit to the lads.
“That’s what it’s all about in the Championship, keeping your point average above two and we’ve managed to do that throughout the whole season.”
The former England Under-21 international saw the first half of his campaign ruined by ankle surgery and took a couple of months to find form and fitness, having also had a minor operation to remove a screw from his ankle in January.
From mid-March onwards though he has started to show the ability that City were hoping to see, taking his goal tally to six goals in 25 games, 14 of which were starts.
“I’ll take that,” he said of notching his fifth and sixth goals of the season. “I don’t know how many starts there’s been but I like to score as many as possible.
“I probably could have got more, there was that one in the first half, there’s always those little ones that you look at.
“But six goals, yeah, I’ll take that.”