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A fantastic afternoon – David Wagner hails ‘top-class’ performance from Norwich

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 9 Mar 2024

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Norwich head coach David Wagner praised the attitude of his side after they hammered bottom club Rotherham 5-0 to move back into the Championship play-off zone.

The Canaries were professionalism personified as they ruthlessly dismantled a side who arrived at Carrow Road with eight successive defeats behind them.

“It was a top-class performance, a fantastic afternoon,” said Wagner. “In every game you play you need the players to show passion, hunger and desire and we saw all those things from them today.

“It was a game people were expecting us to win but you have to prepare properly whoever you are playing. We did that and then, from the very first minute, the players were focused, they were really on it.

“We scored some really good goals and defended well to keep a clean sheet. The players deserve all the credit they get after that.”

He added: “I would rather be in the top six than not with nine games to go, but at the moment it is not important.

“From now on I want us to be super ambitious, but very humble, talk less and work more. Because the only thing that matters is where we are after 46 games.”

Norwich wrapped up the points in the first half, scoring four goals as they ruthlessly emphasised the gulf in class between the two sides.

They went ahead after 13 minutes as some poor defending allowed Jack Stacey to get in a cross from the right for an unmarked Gabriel Sara to head home.

Jacob Sorensen nodded in a Sara corner to make it 2-0 after 21 minutes and it was three just past the half-hour mark as Borja Sainz collected a loose ball in midfield and ran unchallenged before lashing the ball home from just outside the box.

Josh Sargent made it 12 for the season on the cusp of half-time, sweeping home Stacey’s low cross at the back post, and Sara completed the rout two minutes after the break, brilliantly volleying into the top corner after Sargent’s effort had been saved by Viktor Johansson.

Norwich took their foot off the gas after that but Rotherham still failed to muster an effort worthy of the name as they slumped to a ninth straight defeat, and their second 5-0 reverse in the space of five days.

“It was a poor performance, a poor result and a poor reaction to the defeat in midweek,” admitted Millers manager Leam Richardson, whose side are 20 points adrift of safety.

“There is a way we want to finish the season, and it is certainly not like this. There were two ‘worldie’ goals in there I suppose, but there was also some bad defending – the first one was just basic stuff which we didn’t get right.

“I picked the side and I take full responsibility. It has been a horrible week for the staff and the players but the people I feel really sick for are the fans who have come all the way to Coventry and Norwich to support us.

“We just need to start picking up some points again. There is a very flat feeling at club at the moment but there are still nine games to go for us to do something about that.”

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