Ward hails ‘massive’ point for Norwich City

Elliott Ward believes winning the point at Hull that keeps Norwich City in the Championship’s top two heading into the international break is “massive”.

The Canaries withstood pressure from the home side – a Premier League outfit last season – and created some good opportunities of their own, but had to settle for a 1-1 draw following substitute Nicky Barmby’s close-range equaliser in the second half.

And while some may have felt disappointed Zak Whitbread’s opener was not enough for all three points, Ward saw retaining at least one point of the three they led Swansea on Saturday morning – with two weeks until the Championship battle resumes – as vitally important.

He said: “I think it’s massive to come away with something today. If you’re going to look at the last few games going into the break, you want to still be second and we’ve done that. So we’ll have this little break and we’ll come back ready and we know what we’ve got to do. We’ll be in high spirits and we’ll look forward to the Scunthorpe game when it comes.

“This little break will help us out. It’s been a tough schedule for us lately and it’s a bit of training not leading to a game, so we can have a day off, get ourselves ready, refresh the bodies and hopefully be right for the last eight games.”

After sustained home pressure, referee Rob Shoebridge allowed play to continue following Ward’s foul on Robert Koren – a decision that put Hull striker Matty Fryatt in behind the Norwich defence and ultimately saw his cross whipped home by 37-year-old Barmby, on 74 minutes.

“I just tried to win the ball and I was probably hoping the referee would give the foul against me, but the ball went through to their player, who could have been offside, it’s gone through two lots of legs and they score,” added Ward.

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“I think we could have done with a bit of help from someone in the middle, but that happens in games and apart from that I think we dealt with near enough everything else.

“We still had chances and their goalkeeper has pulled off a great save in the second half from Wes.”

Of Ward’s previous central defensive partners this season, Leon Barnett is out of the rest of the season after undergoing hamstring surgery, while Michael Nelson is now a Scunthorpe player – meaning all will be hoping Whitbread returns without any side effects from his first call-up to the senior USA squad.