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Paddy Davitt verdict: Page turned for City. Game on!

Norwich City hot shot Teemu Pukki was denied by Bournemouth keeper Aaron Ramsdale Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City hot shot Teemu Pukki was denied by Bournemouth keeper Aaron Ramsdale Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Paul Chesterton

Less a first Premier League away point and a clean sheet. More a statement of intent from Norwich City.

Few 0-0 draws have felt quite so positively uplifting as the Canaries' battling offering at Bournemouth.

The neutrals might have cast a disinterested glance but this was a result that quells some of the more searing questions around Daniel Farke and his players' ability to survive and eventually prosper in the Premier League.

Farke was roundly sick of wading through injury bulletins, but there was never any sense of using a chronic injury list as a comfort blanket.

Yet that hammering against Aston Villa brought an acknowledgement from the City head coach Norwich had emptied their reservoirs of resolve and drained the very depths of their depleted squad.

The intervening pause for the international break was not about licking wounds but a welcome return to the training pitches of Colney for an experienced core who have seen it and done it in the Premier League.

It is impossible to over-state the importance of Tim Krul or Alex Tettey within this group. They are the glue that binds.

Ibrahim Amadou was a commanding figure in Norwich City's last awayday at Bournemouth Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdIbrahim Amadou was a commanding figure in Norwich City's last awayday at Bournemouth Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

They are the wise heads offering counsel to talented youth or continental imports who until Anfield had not experienced the blinding maelstrom that is the Premier League; a competition that tests the mental and physical capabilities to the limit.

A battling point mined in fresh adversity, with Ben Godfrey's early second-half exit, and a re-deployment for Tettey to join fellow holding midfielder Ibrahim Amadou in central defence, was so much more than the by-product of a clearing treatment room.

It once again proved Farke's pragmatic side is alive and well.

A healthier squad affords him more room for manoeuvre, but the tactical approach marked a departure from what had gone before at this level.

Farke wanted control of the central ground and installed Tettey in front of the back four behind Kenny McLean.

Moritz Leitner was positioned in a more advanced position, with no place for Marco Stiepermann, while Onel Hernandez's quicker-than-anticipated recovery from a freak knee injury relegated Patrick Roberts to the development pool.

Kenny McLean tussles with Joshua King 
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdKenny McLean tussles with Joshua King Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Farke labelled Roberts' demotion 'harsh' but then mapped out why the needs of the team took precedence, in attempting to subdue a well-drilled Bournemouth under the astute Eddie Howe. Likewise the logic behind Stiepermann's omission - although the German had been put on notice by his compatriot to drastically improve his productivity.

The same might be levelled at City despite grinding out a merited point on the south-coast. The lack of goals scored since the high watermark of eclipsing Manchester City does not tally with the creative instincts at Farke's disposal.

But one link in the chain at a time is quite enough for this head coach and his staff. Reinforcing a youthful backline and an impoverished central defence had to be the priority in the wake of that Villa mauling.

City were compact, organised and committed without the ball. Krul was required once in either half to deny Dominic Solanke and Arnaut Danjuma. Amadou emerged as a focal point to deal with Bournemouth's aerial approach.

Howe felt the Cherries were lacking inspiration after a bright start failed to puncture Norwich's resistance.

That is a testament to City's obduracy. City were too compliant against the likes of Burnley and Villa but there was a pride in the achievement of a clean sheet evident in the reaction at full-time.

Bournemouth's players trooped towards the tunnel, heads bowed, after what they will have known was a huge opportunity to punish a newly-promoted rival who until that point had looked vulnerable and brittle in equal measure.

City's players, and then Farke, headed to their fans to savour the sense of a job well done. There was satisfaction in achievement forged from honest toil and sweat rather than the thrilling attacking flourishes that defined Norwich's Championship title success.

There was also a maturity and a streetwise edge to this display that needs to be developed and nurtured.

Bournemouth went through the same growing pains and have emerged the other side as an established Premier League entity. It can be done again.

Albeit no club has attempted it in the fashion Norwich seek to bridge the divide.

If City can keep clean sheets on the road then anything really is possible.

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