Hanley feels City have set a benchmark for Championship success

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Norwich skipper Grant Hanley couldn't quite make contact with an early chance against Cardiff - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Grant Hanley believes Norwich City set themselves a benchmark for Championship success as they outclassed Cardiff at Carrow Road in a 2-0 win which could have been more emphatic.

The Canaries' skipper helped keep a clean sheet against a physical and direct Cardiff side, who had won five of their last six games before arriving in Norfolk to stay in touch with the play-off places.

“That’s the Championship, everybody feels like they’ve got a chance," said the Scot. "Every week is a big game and we just need to keep ticking them off. 

“Keep putting in that level of performance and more often than not we’ll get the result and the points that we’re looking for.” 

A fifth win on the spin extended City's lead at the top of the Championship to five points, thanks to Bournemouth drawing 0-0 at Luton, and seven clear of third-placed Swansea.

“It’s important when you’re on a run to keep that going and keep picking up points, so we’re pleased," Hanley continued.

“We felt pretty comfortable, given that it was always going to be a pretty tough game in terms of their style of play, how physical they are and their set-plays. 

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“But I think we managed the game pretty well, maybe a wee bit disappointed that we didn’t score more. 

“The way the games keep coming, it’s important to just keep picking up three points.” 

The Bluebirds kept the home defence under pressure with balls into the box and were also denied an equaliser by a fantastic reaction save from Michael McGovern, keeping out a close-range Sean Morrison header from a Harry Wilson free-kick.

The Northern Ireland international, kept his first clean sheet as he started a seventh successive game while Tim Krul continues working his way back from a calf injury.

“Micky made a couple of good saves from set-plays, it’s always good to have a goalie behind you that’s capable of that," Hanley added, speaking to City's official YouTube channel. 

“When you’re defending against a team who are so good at set-plays, it’s a collective, al the lads have got to do their jobs and be professional – I think we’ve done that.” 

Grant Hanley of Norwich wins a header during the Sky Bet Championship match at Carrow Road, Norwich

Canaries skipper Grant Hanley had to deal with an aerial bombardment from Cardiff - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

It was a fourth game alongside Christoph Zimmermann in central defence for the Scotland international, with Ben Gibson hoping to be available for the trip to Watford on Boxing Day after a calf injury.

Hanley feels the three of them offer Daniel Farke good options at centre-back, adding: “It’s enjoyable to play with the lads because they’re good players and good lads.

"So whoever is fit and available for selection will go and give it their all.” 

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