Mooney keeps improving

David Cuffley Striker David Mooney gave Norwich City's survival chances a huge boost for the second time in five days and then warned: 'I'm getting better with each game.'

David Cuffley

Striker David Mooney gave Norwich City's survival chances a huge boost for the second time in five days and then warned: “I'm getting better with each game.”

The 24-year-old Irishman headed the only goal against Plymouth Argyle at Carrow Road to move Bryan Gunn's Canaries out of the bottom three in the Championship table, after opening the scoring in the 2-0 home victory over Cardiff last Tuesday.

And Mooney, on a month's loan from Reading, a deal that looks set to be extended to the end of the season, said finally getting a stab at Championship football could only make him sharper - and fitter.

“I think today I was maybe a bit better than I was the other night and it's only going to come with games,” he said. “The more games you play the fitter you're going to be, so I was feeling it there in the last three or four minutes.

“I got the ball over in the far corner and I just kicked it out of play because I didn't really want to run with it. I was just putting it as far away in the corner as I could and getting it away from our goal, so it was good tactical work by me!”

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Mooney struck after 53 minutes, heading home after skipper Gary Doherty had nodded back Sammy Clingan's corner.

“Doc won the header at the back and it just fell lovely, so I said just 'Put your head on it' and luckily enough it went in,” said Mooney.

“It's a massive result, it takes us out of the bottom three. This club is all about survival now and once we can get that, that will be the main thing, then they can push on next season.”

He admitted the Plymouth game had not hit the heights of the victory over Cardiff.

“It was different, a bit scrappier to watch but they're fighting for their lives as well so we knew it was going to be like that and we're just happy to get the odd goal to win,” he said.

“I've had two and a half games, two goals, two bookings. I've been getting a bit of stick about getting the bookings but luckily enough I don't think they count.”

Mooney might have opened the scoring sooner when he fired over the top from Jon Otsemobor's cross before half-time.

“I read that the defender wasn't going to win it and I had a good touch, I just got right underneath it and ballooned it over the bar. It was just one of those things but I kept plugging away and luckily enough the chance fell in the second half and I was able to take it.”

One goal was enough for City, thanks to another solid defensive display with Doherty and Jason Shackell earning praise from Mooney.

“We've got a good goalkeeper and Doc and Shacks at the back have been great so once we've got that solid base it gives you that impetus to push forward knowing that you've got that strong core at the back. So we're happy to go out and play and if we can keep clean sheets we know we're going to win more than we draw or lose.”

Mooney has just two matches left in his initial loan spell, but Gunn said he was “very confident” of extending the loan for the rest of the season.

“He is here for a month. I have already opened discussions with Reading to keep him on for the remainder of the season. That's been fairly positive,” said Gunn.

“He is with us now until the Sheffield Wednesday game and then hopefully in the week building up to that we will be able to sign an extension to that. The rules and regulations state that we can't do anything at the moment, but we have got the relative permission from Reading to do that.

“We play Reading in that last period of games and I'm sure there will be a stipulation for him not to play in that game should we secure his signature.”

Asked what Mooney had brought to City's game, Gunn said simply: “Goals - he's regarded as the best finisher at Reading. He was brought over from Ireland last season and has not had an opportunity there with the likes of Kevin Doyle, Shane Long, Leroy Lita and now Dave Kitson.

“I watched him in a reserve game 10 days ago, he scored a hat-trick and ran himself into the ground and that's what we're getting from him, we're getting that commitment. His goal threat, working alongside Alan Gow, the good partnership they've shown in the last two games is something we can work on.”

Mooney said he had enjoyed playing alongside Gow.

“Alan's got two man of the match performances so I hope I'm complementing him in that regard,” he said.

“Sometimes you just click with another player and that is what has happened. He is a clever player and he is easy to play with.”