Paddy Davitt, Norwich City Writer
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Norwich City boss Neil Adams admitted it felt like the good old days were back at Carrow Road after a stunning late salvo to sink Blackburn in Tuesday’s Championship epic.
Tom Cairney’s early opener rocked the hosts but Lewis Grabban’s finish after Paul Robinson saved his initial penalty was the bare minimum City deserved prior to the interval. Bradley Johnson’s 87th minute curling lob sparked a frenetic finale before Grabban secured the points to seal a pulsating encounter.
“I thought it was one of those games under the lights when special things happen at Carrow Road. The crowd were absolutely brilliant how they got behind us. Players can’t help but be inspired and we needed them,” said Adams. “Bradley was a bit miffed. He wanted to show people Saturday’s goal was not a fluke and he has the quality to do that. The energy he has is incredible.
“Him and Alex (Tettey) dominated in that midfield and they were fantastic. Technically it is as good a goal as you will see. I was also pleased with Josh Murphy and the composure he showed on the final goal when he squared it for Lewis (Grabban). Lewis is a goalscorer. He is more than that. You don’t just buy a player because he can do just one thing. You see his work-rate.”
Grabban’s match-winner triggered a minor melee between both benches before calm was restored.
“I don’t know. I stayed out of it,” said Adams. “I said to Wes Hoolahan, ‘Me and you will stay out of it and let them get on with it.’ It was something and nothing. I don’t think they were too happy with the celebrations. I just stayed away to thank the fans and by the time I got down the tunnel everyone had gone. They are bound to be disappointed. If they had equalised I would have been the same. I know their bench really well and there is no animosity. There was nothing unsavoury.”
Rovers’ chief Gary Bowyer confirmed it was City’s decision to play on, despite an injury to Corry Evans during the build-up to Grabban’s second goal following a collison with Murphy, which angered his coaching staff. Bowyer was also upset at the decision to award Norwich a first-half penalty when Hoolahan’s cross struck the arm of Jason Lowe after an earlier claim against Steven Whittaker was turned down.
“We feel we’ve been on the wrong side of two major decisions in the game,” said Bowyer. “It is as simple as that. We come out, we score an outstanding goal and we were very dominant for the first 15 minutes. We should have had a penalty, the lad’s hand is in an un-natural position and yet it doesn’t get given.
“Norwich come into the game, which they are going to do at home, they are a strong outfit, one of the favourites for promotion. But then to let them back in the game with the penalty that he gives, Lowey’s hand is down by his side, I can’t put it in words to explain it. Kyle Naughton gets sent off for Tottenham at the weekend and it is no different to the one we don’t get given. It is a massive disappointment. You saw at the end their emotion from beating us, they knew that it was a very very tough game for them.”