For as long as the clock keeps ticking, Norwich City will continue to probe and believe anything is possible.
The magnitude of Timm Klose’s late header on Sunday made Nelson Oliveira’s late strike seem tame in comparison. Yet it reaffirmed the key characteristics that can be accredited with the side since Daniel Farke’s rein began.
Belief, determination and togetherness in abundance, this side embodies the traits of its adept and tactically conscious head coach.
This, on the surface, is another stalemate which does nothing to lighten the increasingly dimming chances of an ascent towards the play-off positions. Delve deeper however, and this was a courageous revival against a Wolverhampton side sitting unchallenged at the summit of the table and have only dropped points twice from losing positions all season.
Rewind to the reverse fixture in October, and the gulf in quality between the two sides was extensive. That bitterly cold evening reinforced the talent Nuno Espirito Santos has at his disposal. Admittedly they have acquired big names and departed with large fees, but playing aesthetic football has seen Nuno’s swashbuckling outfit defeat all on their way to the Premier League.
This gulf was significantly reduced this time out as Norwich more than matched Wolves. This, along with the evidence presented against Middlesbrough, concludes Norwich aren’t far away and although this campaign seems to ebbing away, it could suggest next season could be full of excitement and the long term success.
As Alfred N’Diaye rose to nod the ball past Angus Gunn, even the most optimistic of those following the Canaries would have feared the worst.
This is evidence that Farke’s regime is working.
Those players who criticised the training regime for its intensity and toughness have departed, and Norwich now has a squad incredibly strapping and physically robust squad.
Those double sessions, lengthy days and tough pre season regime have paid off. Norwich are reaping the rewards of being significantly fitted than opponents and their dominance in the later exchanges of matches graphically highlights this.
Fitness is one branch to a range of methodology being enhanced by Farke’s regime. Mentally, this is a side heavily motivated, together and upwardly mobile in direction.
Invigorated with confidence and embedded with youth, this new look Norwich City provides numerous reasons to look forwards. From the emergence of Jamal Lewis to the improvement of Mario Vrancic, this construction is the injection of positivity everyone associated with Norwich required after the apathy and angst felt by most last campaign.
The separation previously felt between team and supporters is closing.
There is still work to do however. In the final third, they look inept at creating chances at will. Norwich lack the creativity and offensive impetus to freely hurt opponents during attacking sequences. Despite the philosophy becoming increasingly evident elsewhere on the pitch, Norwich need to find a remedy to the toothless offensive approach.
That said, Wolves hold the accolade of having the most clean sheets in the division and the addition of an extra midfielder only strengthened their defensive shape. The task to break down the league leaders was always going to be tough.
Molineux is rarely a happy hunting ground for Norwich, their historical record at the ground makes for pretty dire reading. Norwich haven’t been beaten at Wolves since August 2014 and extend their impressive unbeaten run with a favourable run of games on the horizon.
This is momentum.
This is form Norwich displayed in part during the embryonic stages of the season and without the distraction of other competitions, it is arguably more sustainable now.
Despite lauding the manner in which they fought against the odds, there is still tweaking to do and areas of their game yet to undergo evolution. The aforementioned offensive struggles and lack of plan B often hinders the success of the side.
Furthermore, Farke’s dilatory approach to substitutions is often frustrating and hinders the likelihood of any impact those replacements have on the game. Less than ten minutes merely isn’t enough time to affect proceedings.
Admittedly, Oliviera replaces the acclimatising Dennis Srbeny and scores the critical goal this time out, but Farke must use his squad in a altogether more efficient manner.
Both of Norwich’s concessions were avoidable, the free kick in particular. The response and manner in which Norwich dictated thereafter should be duly lauded. Norwich’s star is beginning to rise, this is a club donning a brighter outlook at present.
In spite of mass reconstruction, the departure of senior players and a radically altered training regime, City are competing. Farke’s operation is going through the gears and the product being consumed is one of longevity and positivity.
The way Norwich have negotiated the difficult run of fixtures has been commendable and presents numerous reasons to be cheerful.