Angus Gunn on how Norwich City went from meek surrender to defensive rock
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Angus Gunn can feel the benefit of Norwich City’s newfound defensive resolve – even though he’s not entirely sure what brought it on.
A fourth successive Championship clean sheet was the noticeable result of a second successive Carrow Road goalless draw, as in-form Bristol City provided stubborn resistance to the Canaries’ advances.
Bigger tests now await, as City head to pre-season title favourites Middlesbrough on Tuesday before visiting last season’s beaten play-off finalists Reading come Saturday evening.
“In the recent games I’ve not been too busy and obviously at the start of the season before the international break, it was a little bit different,” said Gunn.
“I don’t really know what’s happened but something’s clicked and we’re getting to the ball quicker. We seem a little bit tighter and yeah, there are definitely positives form the last few games and keeping the ball out of the net.
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“After the Millwall match it was the international break, so everyone was in the changing room gutted and disappointed – and we had to go our separate ways because we had other duties.
“But the lads who stayed behind worked hard during the break, and a lot of them have been playing in the team recently. So it’s obviously something the manager has thought about and worked on.
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“To be honest, in training you couldn’t notice – but in the games we definitely looked more solid, more secure. Just more aggressive out of possession.
“And that time to train helps for the manager. Generally we don’t get too much time on the training pitch, so it’s definitely been a difference after the international break. Hopefully it can happen again and we can push on again after the next one.
“To be honest we’ve not concentrated that much on defensive work. It’s mainly just been about the team ethic and the way we go about things together as a group, getting to the ball quicker and doing everything with a bit more intensity and aggression.
“So if we can turn that in for when we have the ball as well, then we’ll be a dangerous side. Some games we have scored on the break, but we want to be creating chances and cutting teams open.
“There’s definitely an aura about us now – but we need to start scoring goals. We need to win games to get up the table, so hopefully we can start doing that now.”
The next two challenges won’t be the easiest places to do that – but Gunn isn’t about to let that concern him or his team-mates.
“Probably the Boro game is as tough as it gets, but some said the Sheffield United game would be one of the toughest games we could have,” added Gunn.
“You never know what you’re going to get in the Championship. Some teams go on runs and some teams slip up a little bit.
“Hopefully we can go into Tuesday night confident of keeping the ball out of the net, and hopefully we can nick a goal – hopefully a few.”