Stephen Elliott dances to Norwich City tune
Chris Lakey Stephen Elliott will soon be christened Billy Elliott after his magic feet helped City to another valuable away win on Saturday. But the Irishman says he was simply the 'Johnny on the spot' for the two goals which left Huddersfield's unbeaten home record in tatters and helped City open a stunning seven-point lead at the top of League One.
Stephen Elliott will soon be christened Billy Elliott after his magic feet helped City to another valuable away win on Saturday.
But the Irishman says he was simply the “Johnny on the spot” for the two goals which left Huddersfield's unbeaten home record in tatters and helped City open a stunning seven-point lead at the top of League One.
Elliott is at Carrow Road on loan from Preston and before he trotted out at The Galpharm Stadium in place of Chris Martin, he had just 12 minutes of football under his belt after his cameo against Yeovil a week earlier.
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It took that long for him to notch his first goal - and another 13 to double his tally.
“It was nice, alright,” said the Republic of Ireland international.
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“It was a great result all round. The lads inside there are all buzzing, especially after seeing the results elsewhere, so I think everybody will have a good weekend.”
City have taken League One by storm since Lambert steadied the ship and pointed it in the right direction, and becoming the first team to leave Huddersfield with three points won't help the confidence of the chasing pack.
“I think it sends out a message to everybody else,” said Elliott.
“I think people thought Norwich coming to Huddersfield with the home record that they have got, it would be a tough game. But to win here away, and the way we did in the end, was brilliant.”
“They came out on the front foot and they got the goal, deservedly, because we didn't really get going for the first 15, 20 minutes.
“They could have been two up, but the lads got themselves in at half-time at just a goal down and the second half was much better.”
As City fought their way into the game, Elliott was waiting for his big opportunity.
“With being a goal down you always think that you might be called upon, so you have to keep your eye on the game and keep looking at where you can affect the game,” he said.
Within seven minutes of his introduction, Grant Holt had equalised - and Elliott then began to reap the benefits of his team-mates' efforts.
First it was Holt, with a brilliant run down the right and an inch-perfect cross for Elliott to knock into an empty net.
Next it was Simon Lappin doing the work on the other side and setting up the new boy for the game-killing third.
“I was just Johnny on the spot really,” said Elliott.
“The lads have done great for me, they have put them on a plate and I was just happy enough to be there to put them in.
“Holt has been fantastic all season, he has got his goal again, he has got great movement and for me he put a great ball in.”
Elliott's loan spell is in its infancy, but it didn't take long for him to spot the strengths which have taken City clear at the top of the League One table.
“They have got great team spirit and obviously everybody is really high on confidence at the moment - as we have seen, going a goal behind we rallied ourselves together in the second half and we put in a very good performance.
“It is nice to score a goal when you are in front of your own fans, so it was good.
“It was fantastic to see them travelling all this way, so many of them making loads of noise is a fantastic showing - they were sucking the ball into the net.”
Elliot's highly-effective appearance poses a question: is he about to separate the highly successful partnership that has evolved between Holt and Chris Martin?
It's unlikely, and Elliott is diplomatic enough not to make any claims public.
“I have come in until the end of the season and hopefully, maybe if I can get a few games I can help out the lads,” he said.
“It is up to the manager.
“The lads have done great all season so I am just happy to help out.”