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‘It is exceptional at the moment’ – Shining lights have Norwich City star purring

Timm Klose connects with Mario Vrancic's late corner to head Norwich City level at Brentford - although the image suggests it wasn't a clean path beyond Bees goalkeeper Daniel Bentley. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Timm Klose connects with Mario Vrancic's late corner to head Norwich City level at Brentford - although the image suggests it wasn't a clean path beyond Bees goalkeeper Daniel Bentley. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Paul Chesterton

Norwich City’s young stars are up for the Championship fight – and that will see them on to even bigger things, according to Timm Klose.

The Canaries dug in to claim a point at Brentford on New Year’s Day – once again with Max Aarons, Ben Godfrey and Todd Cantwell helping to keep Daniel Farke’s side ticking over.

It means City will sit second in the Championship, as they begin the distraction of their FA Cup campaign at the weekend.

And 30-year-old Klose hailed City’s rising stars – especially the work of Godfrey, who has settled so well into Championship life at both centre-half and left-back.

“It’s amazing – it’s not only Ben but all the young players at the moment; they have so much potential,” said Klose.

Ben Godfrey celebrates Norwich City's equaliser at Brentford in trademark style - after another impressive showing for the Canaries. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesBen Godfrey celebrates Norwich City's equaliser at Brentford in trademark style - after another impressive showing for the Canaries. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

“I am trying to keep them on the floor because sometimes they are ‘on the cloud’. But that’s also what we are here for, just to make sure they keep both feet on the ground and bring their qualities and performances on to the pitch.

“It’s unbelievable with Ben at the moment. I was talking with him in the dressing room and always told him he has to be patient and wait for his chance. And when that chance was here, he’d have enough quality to show everyone that he’s good enough to play in this league – and even higher.

“I think that’s something that speaks volumes for this club, that we have a lot of quality young payers that could play on an even higher level.”

MORE: Brentford 1-1 Norwich City – How it unfolded

Todd Cantwell tries to wriggle free of Rico Henry as Norwich City claim a Championship point at Brentford. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesTodd Cantwell tries to wriggle free of Rico Henry as Norwich City claim a Championship point at Brentford. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

City’s consistency certainly points to a promotion challenge that Farke’s squad can maintain this season – but Klose preferred to concentrate simply on how well things have gone so far.

“This is my third year in the Championship and I’ve seen a lot,” he smiled. “It’s just the way this league is – you can’t change it. You will go to teams where you think you have to win, and it won’t be easy because they know how to fight, they know how to ‘eat grass’.

“And to find our balance – especially with young players all around the pitch – is exceptional at the moment, and I think that makes us very strong.

“These games show you how big the atmosphere and spirit is in our team. Everyone who comes on the pitch, everyone who wants to play for this team shows that it doesn’t matter if you were on the bench, if you’re disappointed you are not in the starting line-up – the moment they are on, the moment they play for us and for this club, they want to show they belong in the starting line-up.

“That’s one reason why we are so strong at the moment and we need to keep doing that. You saw even here, we had two not-unimportant injuries with Alex Tettey and Marco Stiepermann. I hope they’re not too bad. But it shows you a lot.

“The young players come in, they fight for the lads, everyone sticks together and fights for the fans. If you saw how many came out again at Brentford, it’s just unbelievable.

“If we keep just doing what we do best, that’s play our football and not concentrate too much on what is going on with the other teams, just stick to the plan, I think we showed some great football.

“We can do the bad things in the game, like fight and play not always beautiful – but we can also play very nice football, and that’s the learning process you need to have with young players and it’s a good thing to have.”

As for their comeback draw at Brentford, Klose acknowledged goalkeeper Tim Krul’s excellent second-half performance.

“In the second half it was unbelievable how he kept us in the game – although I have no idea how Neal Maupay was not offside for the first header,” added Klose.

“Fair credit to Tim and in the end it was the teams who decided the game. We made our name proud, I think.”

• For the latest Norwich City news and opinion follow Michael Bailey on the following channels…

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