May 25 2013 Latest news:
Sunday, September 2, 2012
Norwich City’s belief and combative nature are alive and well as far as Bradley Johnson is concerned, with the Canaries picking up an excellent draw at stuttering Tottenham.
Indeed much like last week’s Carrow Road clash with QPR, it could and perhaps should have been City’s first victory of their Premier League campaign as the visitors put in a replica of the fantastic performance that earned them at 2-1 at White Hart Lane on Easter Monday last season.
But there was still plenty – if not more – satisfaction to be taken this time around, as Chris Hughton’s men responded to having much the better of proceedings only to fall behind to Moussa Dembele’s 69th minute opener.
It was Robert Snodgrass’ first goal in yellow, or black as it turned out, five minutes from time brought Norwich the draw their efforts more than deserved.
“Everyone can see in the team, we’ve got belief and we proved that again today,” said Johnson after his own notably productive 90 minutes.
“Norwich have proved throughout the years they’ve always scored late goals. When we go 1-0 down we will never let our heads go down and we will always fight back, and it’s paid off for us here.
“Every point in this league is a precious one, but to come here to White Hart Lane and play them off the park like I thought we did, we were unlucky not to get all three. But it’s another one on the board.”
Andre Villas-Boas appears to have a bit of winning over to do with the Spurs fans, as his side was booed off at the break and full-time.
Tottenham are yet to win a competitive match under the Portuguese’s stewardship since he took over in the summer.
As for Norwich, their own summer upheaval seems to be settling down as Hughton directed comfortably his team’s most accomplished performance so far.
“We are always coming to these top clubs and it’s always good to get a point, and the fans were magnificent today,” said Johnson, as more than 3,000 City supporters left White Hart Lane with a smile on their faces – as they did in April. “They were singing throughout the whole game and I think they gave us that push to get the equaliser.
“We knew if we got in their faces they’d be under pressure. We did that and turned the crowd on them, and that’s always a good thing for the visitors.
“We’ve come here for two game and had two good results – and you can’t take credit away from us. I think we’ve seen their strengths and we’ve stopped them. Gareth Bale was terrific down at our place last year, so we came here last year and we stopped him playing – and we’ve done the same again. We’ve made them play the way they did.”
After Friday’s closure of the transfer window, it would be fair to say City’s first boost on Saturday came with the team sheet. Having helped destroy City at Craven Cottage two weeks earlier, Dembele’s £15m move from Fulham saw him start his Spurs career at half-time. He duly made his mark by raising Spurs’ tempo and putting them ahead – before Norwich showed just how far they have come in the space of 14 days.
“I was happy to see him on the bench, to be fair,” smiled Johnson. “But he’s one of the best midfielders I’ve played against. Tottenham have got a great signing there. He’s a world class player and he only came on at half-time and he changed the game for them.
“But we showed the fighting spirit we have shown throughout our time in this league, that we know we’re going to get a goal – it came in the last five minutes and we were unlucky not to get another.
“At Fulham I think Dembele ran the show when we were there two weeks ago and it’s always good to see him on the bench and not doing the same again.”
City had their own star signing impressing too – albeit a summer arrival.
After excelling against QPR a week earlier, Snodgrass was at it again – bringing out a superb save from Brad Friedel with his head before avoiding hesitation to drill inside his far post to break his Canaries duck.
“He’s settled in well – I remember when I came here the lads were great, they give you a great welcome,” added Johnson. “He’s got me and Jonny Howson here with him, and he’s always in the right play at the right time. He was unlucky not to score earlier with the header – Brad Friedel made a great save – but he always pops up in these areas and it was a great finish.
“It is strange we’re now together here (like at Leeds) but they wouldn’t be here if they couldn’t play.”