‘He jumped into my face!’ – Canaries hero on goal carnage and practice making perfect
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Mario Vrancic wanted more – both minutes and points – but it won’t dull his latest Norwich City highlight after his free-kick earned the Championship leaders a Carrow Road draw with Sheffield Wednesday.
The 29-year-old Bosnian midfielder has had to make do with short substitute appearances since an ankle ligament injury in February ended his best run of form for the club.
Yet despite playing only 19pc of the minutes during Emi Buendia’s suspension, Vrancic has been on the pitch and played his part in 80pc of City’s goals in those three games.
And his Good Friday free-kick showpiece in the 97th minute to earn a deserved point off Sheffield Wednesday at Carrow Road, was a crowning glory.
“It is great, definitely,” said Vrancic. “Obviously I wish I could get even more minutes to have an even bigger or higher impact, contribution or whatever.
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“Unfortunately that wasn’t the case in the recent games. But I always say you have to use the minutes you get from the manager – it doesn’t matter if it’s with goals, assists or just being there to push the team. Luckily I made it this time with an amazing strike at the end.
“I have my run, I have my rhythm, from each opponent I’m watching the videos – is the wall jumping? Where’s the goalkeeper? Stuff like that. I pay a lot of attention to it.
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“Also I’ve been practicing them a lot in training with the goalkeepers – and at the end, you get the reward for it. Especially in those moments.
“What should I say? I’m just buzzing about it that this whole training, the practicing, that I got the reward for it. To be honest, there was no doubt. Honestly, I was certain I was going to score.
“I just remember our kit man giving me a headbutt – he jumped into my face. For a few seconds I had a concussion I think! But no, but there were a lot of emotions and the whole stadium was screaming and shouting. It was a very nice moment.
“It says we never give up. We never give up in the last moments until the referee blows his last whistle.
“It shows our character and it’s always the case, especially in the UK, that extra time is quite long and we were just focused on trying everything to score the equaliser. And that’s what I did.
“I’m happy for the fans to be happy! I think it would have been even better with three points, but you can’t win every game. Sheffield Wednesday played very well, made it very difficult for us and sometimes you just need to be happy with a point.”
Norwich now need just five points from their remaining three games to guarantee Premier League promotion and the Championship title – and could yet secure both depending on other results, when they head to Stoke on Easter Monday (3pm).
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