There were two big talking points this week, and both happened last Saturday.
Tony Pulis’ appointment was confirmed by the club before the team took to the field and the new man was at the KC Stadium to watch the team defeat Hull.
Bringing in Pulis had split supporters as they discussed the pro’s and con’s, but by the time Saturday had come around everyone had accepted that it was going to happen and from this point it was a case of moving forward with what we had.
Whether or not everyone wanted him, the supporters will continue to support the team in their fight against the drop and Pulis has spoken this week about his determination to do what he can. One piece of good news for a club that has not often found the back of the net is that veteran striker Kevin Phillips is likely to play more of a squad role than the coaching role he has recently taken up in Holloway’s departure. He may not be the youngest or quickest, but there are not many out there who can consistently hit the target like he does.
With 26 more league games, all attention must now be on the team playing together to see how they fare in the relegation battle. The tactics instilled by Keith Millen in recent games, of going back to basics, has worked well and the team has looked its strongest as a unit since last season. This must now continue.
The result was important on Saturday. A draw would have been a good achievement, especially before the game, but a win was always the aim and the team showed they had capabilities to achieve this. Beating rival teams is the key to survival and doing so having just gone down to 10 men is all the more impressive.
Plus the defence was resolute, with a goal-line clearance at the end and the only other threat being the shot immediately after that hit the post. Speroni was only really challenged one other time in the game and dealt with it, so the clean sheet was just rewards for the squad.
There is now another away game against a rival team on Saturday, and whilst the team will be high on confidence they must not get carried away, as Norwich have been in the top-tier for two seasons now. Winning away is a great component to have and the Eagles have done it once, so another one would be nice but with a three-game week, pressure can’t be put on the squad too early. This time next week will give an indication, but it won’t be clear, of what is to come.
Daniel Smith - @dmsmith1987