Staying power, King Kenny, Psychology and the Lion's thorn

Staying power, King Kenny, Psychology and the Lion's thorn

Norwich indeed blew Bristol City off the park in the second half and to be fair have against most sides including the blip away at Preston and whilst losing created 22 chances which would normally complete a winning outcome.

Going back to Daniel Farke's arrival, German methods of training were introduced which primarily involved double sessions of training, more akin to normal life for us lesser mortals. There has been an intensity with pre season games with players building up plenty of minutes on the pitch. 

The style of play at the start of last season had an emphasis on slow build up from the back and plenty of possession interspersed with flashes of incisive moves into danger areas.  The intensity at the end of games displayed now comes from self belief that the game is there to be won rather than drawn plus an opposition who's energy levels are less than the Canaries and a negative mindset which expects pressure at the back end of the game.

Thankfully the current Norwich squad can create loads of intense pressure, assists and goals from all over the park, one touch passing to bypass midfields and long diagonal balls to turn defenders. City are no longer a team where disruptive play must be orchestrated through one or two players, using James Maddison as an example. However, total respect to Madders, he saved the season for City in terms of entertainment and his stats for Leicester are exceptional.

I look back to when Fergie was running the Premiership show at ManUre, if the Red Devils were losing, the players of both sides, the fans of both sides and the officials mindset was that the score would be reversed. Psychology with added skill and dedication!

In my eyes Kenny McLean has never been seen as an underrated midfielder. His arrival was seen exactly in the same way as Maddison. An intelligent player who can influence games and had as a youngster been seen as one of the SPL's top talents.

He was adored by the Aberdeen fans helping them to league runners up and picking up Players Player Of The Year. He has also represented Scotland at all levels. Things may have played out differently had the early season injury not occurred having been used heavily in pre-season. City are blessed to have Mo Leitner, Mario Vrancic and Kenny all in the mix for the run-in.

Successful teams will always produce more than the sum parts of the individuals, the steps that the management are taking to create togetherness is plainly apparent both on and off the pitch. From a playing perspective, the mindset appears to be heavily based on the squad rather than the individual hence the disappearance of players like Nelson Oliveira.

Off the pitch and from Academy level, the mentality of staff and players are being developed. The connection with fans has improved immensely including the time players spend on the pitch after the game plus the admiration of the fans and Daniel after the final whistle.  

Millwall this season is not the fortress of old with only seven wins from 17 attempts. Their two main threats are the towering centre half, Jake Cooper who is dangerous at both ends of the pitch and Lee Gregory who is a class finisher.

They have injury issues and will be without loanee Ben Marshall. It is entirely in Norwich's hands as to the outcome of the game. There will be no slip ups this weekend, having lost to Preston and Hull recently, I expect the Lions to lose at least 2-0 on Saturday.

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