Lessons learned for Norwich City boss Neil Adams

Norwich City's Kyle Lafferty had his first Carrow Road run-out for the club in a 2-2 friendly draw against Celta Vigo. Picture: Simon Finlay. Norwich City's Kyle Lafferty had his first Carrow Road run-out for the club in a 2-2 friendly draw against Celta Vigo. Picture: Simon Finlay.

Monday, August 4, 2014
9:14 AM

Norwich City boss Neil Adams said the Canaries’ 2-2 pre-season friendly finale against Celta Vigo was an invaluable learning aid.

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City looked in the mood to cut loose again when Lewis Grabban scored twice inside the opening 11 minutes at Carrow Road on Friday after hammering OGC Nice 5-1 earlier in the week, but Vigo showed their class to hit back before the break.

Manuel Agudo Nolito and impressive Danish international Michael Krohn-Dehli replied for the Galicians who struck John Ruddy’s woodwork twice and tested the England international throughout as City were forced on the defensive for sustained spells before finishing strongly.

“You definitely learn more about your players in a game like that,” said Adams. “Yes, it’s good to score goals and we have done that throughout pre-season, but we have had a couple of real tests now.

“The Bastia game was a good test for us in hot conditions, Nice was perhaps one where they tested us in how they kept the ball but we blew them away with goals and then Vigo was probably the most difficult of all against a team playing in La Liga and doing well and you can see why on that performance.

“I was delighted with the standard of opposition. It tested us and I was pleased overall how we stood up to it. There are players in my squad who if we come up against sides as good as that, and that probably remains to be seen this season, then we know we have experienced it.”

Adams deployed Andrew Surman and Bradley Johnson in a central midfield pairing for the opening period with Kyle Lafferty up top on his own supported by Grabban, Wes Hoolahan and Nathan Redmond in a formation that unqestionably had the desired effect during the early sparring when Grabban coolly slotted past Ruben Blanco before despatching Hoolahan’s clever cut-back.

City then reverted to a midfield diamond in the closing stages of the cotest which had served Adams’ squad well during the majority of their close season preparations.

“After an excellent start Celta Vigo showed us just what a good side they are and they posed us the type of problems that I think we needed,” he said. “We were tested in all departments of the team; defence, midfield and up front. It was tough, certainly for the last 20 minutes of the first half, but we got back into it I felt in the second half.

“We changed the shape and I was pleased with the effect that had and then obviously towards the end we looked like we could go on and get a couple of goals so all in all and before your first game of the season precisely the type of opposition I wanted.”

5 comments

  • Couldnt agree more Malaga. Im sticking with my original prediction of 8th or 9th place this season. I just get the feeling we will flirt with the playoffs all season but drift away towards the end. The board will be happy enough and talk the talk into next season which will follow suit. Everyone can flame me if they want for that pessimists view but thats how I prefer to be. I still turn up on a saturday and sing my heart out home and away. I just prefer to look at it this way than bluffing myself and trying to play the macho game with other teams fans. We do better when the media doesn't mention us or doesn't rate us. We just quietly get on with it. :)

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    Mattias333

    Tuesday, August 5, 2014

  • I think that sums up pre-season very well, Mattias. Under Adams players are being told to express themselves and he's trying to get them playing to their abilities rather than constraining them into Hughton's hopeless defensive system which yielded negative, boring, football with predictable consequences last season every time we went a goal down. I feel the team this season will be better-equipped, better coached and better deployed. I am not, however, predicting an immediate return to the Prem although that would be welcome. There are half a dozen or so really good footballing teams in this league who are all likely to feature strongly - the likes of Derby, Blackburn, Watford, Wigan and Nottingham Forest in particular. So while I remain an optimist I am also a realist.

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    malaga flier

    Tuesday, August 5, 2014

  • Last season the away fans were given a diet of gruel with less excitement than staying at home and watch paint drying.How they suffered all those months and still came out singing,instead of groaning,is a mystery to me.They deserve better and we won't go back up without dramatically improving our away record.OTBC.

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    Peter Watson

    Monday, August 4, 2014

  • While we have not been as attacking as some of our preseason game scorelines suggest, its still a much more pleasing start from Neil when compared to what we suffered under Hughton. Fair enough, some managers play a defensive set up and achieve great results. Fans still complain but under Hughton we were getting nothing to cheer about and no points either! From the looks of it, Neil is trying to allow our naturally gifted attacking\creative players to express themselves. Yes in turn that will leave us exposed at the back should we make a mistake in attack (like the friendly friday showed) but im FAR more happy with this approach than anything Chris "lets go for a 0-0 and lose 0-1" Hughton tried to achieve. Long as us fans can see the players "giving it a real good go" (to nick an expression from a past great) I personally will always been happy.

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    Mattias333

    Monday, August 4, 2014

  • "...we blew them away with goals...". Long may it continue.

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, August 4, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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