What a difference a win or three makes for Norwich City

Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe tees up Alex Tettey for Norwich City's winning goal against Southampton in the Pr

Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe tees up Alex Tettey for Norwich City's winning goal against Southampton in the Premier League to kick off 2016 at Carrow Road. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

In recent blogs I have talked about how our pre-Christmas points tally wouldn’t be enough to keep us in the Premier League.

Well that was then and this is now as not only has our points tally most positively and dramatically increased on the back of three wins and one draw from our past five games, but our goals per game ratio has also started to ever so slightly improve as well, and in addition to that we have also had two straight clean sheets.

Just to make it even sweeter we now sit 15th in the table instead of being either close to the edge of the relegation zone or actually in it.

Of course there is a heck of a long way to go still and we cannot rest on our laurels yet by any stretch, but we can at least enjoy being where we are just now and we should.

It has been extremely frustrating at times this season having had too many lapses of concentration after having so much possession in some games.


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And then as recent as early December with the away trips to both Watford and then later in the month at Tottenham where we were just not good enough and then well beaten. But we will have off days against teams that even on paper we would hope to take something from and we will also probably be outclassed at times by the likes of those in and around the top six.

But on our day we can give anyone a game and since the start of November when the tide really started to turn in our favour we have taken 14 points from nine games.

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Alex Neil dipped his toes into the Premier League water by going for it at the start of the season, but has in more recent months since the trip to Manchester City had a much more conservative approach and it is paying off, from initially saying that he wasn’t prepared to change his style of play. Well it’s working for him, just as it is for Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe and it is great to see.

With the quality of the likes of Youssouf Mulumbu and Graham Dorrans sitting on the bench most games, two players that I fully expected to be mainstays of our team by now, it gives you some confidence that we really are getting our act together.

Let’s hope that we can now continue to build on the current run of form on a more consistent basis and also add a much needed striker and centre back to the squad in the January transfer window.

The signing this week of the 26-year-old Portuguese full back Ivo Pinto, is in itself very exciting, but I still firmly believe that the other two positions are in principal of more vital importance to the first eleven.

Talking of which, my man on Merseyside Greg O’ Keefe (from the Liverpool Echo) Everton F.C. Editor informs me that Steven Naismith could well be the answer to all of our problems.

He says that, “He is a really impressive performer. A committed professional with a great work ethic, terrific movement and finishing ability. He isn’t the paciest of strikers, but he is a real handful for defenders and he has a bit of a nasty streak in him.

“He hasn’t really played under David Moyes and Roberto Martinez as an out and out striker, more as a number ten I’d say but I believe that he will do very well for you and if you are down the bottom in a bit of a scrap well then he’s definitely someone you would want around you for sure.”

To me he sounds like the type of player that Alex Neil would want in his squad.

One year on its fair to say that there have been more ups than downs since Alex Neil became our manager in January 2015.

Things are on the up in NR1 just now, so relax for a moment and enjoy the cup tie at the weekend as it feels like it’s been quite a while since we have been able to do just that when a cup competition comes round.

• You can follow Steve Plunkett on Twitter at @plunkykos

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