Norwich manager Daniel Farke said claiming a first clean sheet and away point of the season in their draw at Bournemouth was “important” for his team’s belief.
The Canaries were thumped 5-1 by Aston Villa before the international break and soundly beaten by Burnley and Crystal Palace prior to that.
And such was the quality of the performance against Villa, former Norwich striker Chris Sutton was prompted to say: “Norwich are not going to survive in the Premier League unless they improve significantly at the back.”
Well, against Bournemouth they did just that – they put in an organised defensive display to keep the Cherries at bay while maintaining an attacking threat at the other end.
And their away clean sheet is an even more impressive feat considering the fact they played nearly half the game with two central midfielders at centre-back – in Alexander Tettey and Ibrahim Amadou – following Ben Godfrey’s early exit due to injury.
“We changed our approach slightly to play with three central midfielders; in order to be solid it was important to control the centre and have a bit more control and a bit more steel in there,” Farke said.
“It’s our first clean sheet at this level, after a difficult game for us against Aston Villa – I’ve worked pretty long in this business but
“[The result is] good for the mood, good for the self-confidence. Bournemouth is a tough place to come, their speed and mobility and physicality is often difficult to handle but we controlled the game in their half.”
Teemu Pukki had the Canaries’ best chance when he was denied by a fine Aaron Ramsdale save in the second half.
Bournemouth’s best chance fell to Dominic Solanke, but Tim Krul was equal to his first-half effort.
Norwich remains 19th following this result, however, the improved defensive display will give Farke cautious cause for optimism for the rest of the season.
Meanwhile, the point means Bournemouth climb to ninth – going above West Ham on goal difference.
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Source – BBC