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David Wagner lauds Norwich display in convincing win over Cardiff

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 17 Feb 2024

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Norwich head coach David Wagner praised a ‘top quality’ performance from his side after watching them beat Cardiff 4-1 to give their Championship play-off bid a further boost.

The Canaries recovered from the shock of conceding first when totally on top to score four goals at Carrow Road for the second time in five days following Tuesday night’s 4-2 success over Watford.

Jamilu Collins put Cardiff in front but Josh Sargent (2), Gabriel Sara and substitute Christian Fassnacht replied to secure Norwich a fourth successive home win.

Wagner said: “The lads played very well, all the departments of our game were top quality.

“We started well and the only criticism I could make was we were not ruthless enough early on. But we stayed calm, kept playing our football and scored some wonderful goals.

“You can see from the way we are playing at the moment that there is a lot of confidence in the group.
All of the players are doing their jobs at a high level and full credit to them for that.

“I was also impressed with the way we defended. Cardiff are one of the best set-piece teams in the league and we didn’t concede a single corner, which was very pleasing.”

Wagner was critical of sections of the support on Tuesday, after a negative reaction to his substitutions, but was delighted with the backing today.

He added: “I thought the fans were top class and full credit to them.

“They backed their team throughout, even when we conceded, and in the end it was a great afternoon for the people in the stands – and the people on the pitch.”

Norwich were dominant throughout but fell behind against the run of play after 19 minutes when Collins squeezed the ball home at the back post after good work from Rubin Colwill.

But the hosts didn’t panic and were ahead at the break.

Sargent got them back on level terms 20 minutes later with a close-range finish after Sam McCallum’s effort had been parried by Ethan Horvath and Sara quickly made it 2-1 by curling a 20-yard free-kick into the far corner.

Norwich wrapped up the points after 54 minutes, Sargent reaching double figures in an injury-hit season as he acrobatically steered the ball home after his first shot had come back off the upright.

Fassnacht later made it back-to-back four-goal home wins when he finished emphatically after being set up by fellow substitute Sydney van Hooijdonk.

Manager Erol Bulut admitted Cardiff had been beaten by a better side on the day.

“They are a good team with a lot of good players and it was difficult for us, ” he said. “I thought we did well to stop them scoring early on and then we got a goal.

“But it was still tough, they kept coming at us and once they got their equaliser and then scored their second and third it was always going to be difficult to come back.

“It has been a difficult spell, the worst of my managerial career, but we have 40 points with 14 games left to play and there is plenty of play for.

“We need to get back to the sort of team we were at the start of the season. This team will come back again – I believe in them.”

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