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David Wagner hails ‘outstanding’ Norwich fans after 1-0 derby win over Ipswich

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 6 Apr 2024

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Norwich head coach David Wagner heaped praise on his side’s supporters after watching his side beat Ipswich 1-0 to boost their play-off bid – and dent their neighbours’ chances of automatic promotion.

Wagner and his players felt the wrath of the fans during a poor run earlier in the season but Carrow Road was rocking in the lunchtime kick-off as the Canaries reeled off an eighth straight home win thanks to a first-half strike from Marcelino Nunez.

“The atmosphere in the ground was fantastic, the best since I have seen here, and you could see the affect it had on the players,” said Wagner.

“The fans were outstanding – and so were my team. It was a top performance and the only complaint I could make was that we should have put it to bed earlier.

“Every player put in a good shift to get the win – and to keep a clean sheet against a side who scored many goals was very pleasing.

“From where we were earlier in the season, 17th in the table, to where we are now speaks volumes about the spirit and togetherness in the squad.

“They are a group who can achieve something special, especially with the sort of backing we got today.

“But while we will all enjoy this we know there is another big game coming up on Tuesday (at Sheffield Wednesday) and that will be our focus from tomorrow.”

A game of few clear-cut chances was settled by a long range free-kick from Nunez six minutes before the break.

Sam Morsy brought down the lively Josh Sargent in a central position some 30 yards out to set up what looked like nothing more than a half chance. But the Chilean midfielder had other ideas and curled the ball around a token wall and into the back of the net via an upright.

Norwich missed a number of chances to stretch their lead on the break in the second half while Ipswich struggled to create all afternoon.

Conor Chaplin and substitute Ali Al-Hamadi both missed late second-half chances but Norwich keeper Angus Gunn was largely untroubled.

Town manager Kieran McKenna admitted his side were below their best as their long run without an East Anglian derby win continued.

“We weren’t at the level required to win the game and I don’t think Norwich were at their best either. But, to be fair to them, they found a way to win the game,” he said.

“I would certainly have liked to have seen us create more chances and be better on the ball but it was our third game in a busy week and it doesn’t always go the way you want it to.

“I know how much this one means to the supporters and all I can say is lessons were learned and we’ll be stronger for the experience. We have now got two home games coming up which is good.

“I thought we looked comfortable early on and there wasn’t much in the game and then Norwich had a spell of 20 minutes when they got a lot of free-kicks and scored from one of them.

“The decision for the challenge by Morsy looked a marginal one but the decision that annoyed me was the free-kick for (Axel) Tuanzebe’s challenge on Sargent which started it all off. That wasn’t a foul, not even marginal, and it changed the complexion of the game.”

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