Norwich City 2 Leeds United 3

I promised myself that if Leeds came away from Carrow Road with at least a point and a decent performance then I would finally accept that this Leeds squad is capable of doing great things this season. I couldn’t shake off the persisting doubt that our good recent run had actually been against sides that were not really that good; even the win at Wednesday has looked less magnificent in the light of their struggles to maintain their early season form. But Norwich are a top side in this division, hell, everybody says that! And we even worried that the thumping they got down at Brighton last week would merely fire them up even more than our EFL Cup win would have done.

Well, we came away with all three points and at times – the first twenty minutes and for much of the second half – we completely outplayed them! We cannot any longer deny that the side that Garry Monk has moulded appears to have all the tools necessary to have a real go at the Championship this season and in fact any objective assessment would have us now down as one of the best five or six sides in it. We are still yet to put the complete 90 minute performance together, but we are getting closer with every game. We still make mistakes – the two goals we conceded today were not great – but in general, our defence looks as good if not better than anything any side in our division can muster. We have a work ethic that must be the envy of every other side too and the harder we work the more the ball is rolling for us in a way it hasn’t done for several years. We have a midfield blessed with the creative genius that is Pablo Hernandez and up front Chris Wood is now playing as well as any striker in the division. In Hadi Sacko we have a winger who, though raw and often erratic, is going to create a handful of great chances in any game he plays in. We have Liam Bridcutt and Stuart Dallas to return too in the near future, both players who bring so many more options to the table. Most of all we appear to have a team spirit and belief that will carry us through any bumps in the road as it did today when going behind during the game.

These are exciting times and the rest of the Championship is beginning to sit up and take notice, teams will no longer be relishing the prospect of meeting Garry Monk’s lads, we at long last have that important psychological advantage of being perceived as a decent side before a ball is even kicked. The challenges keep coming of course and none will be bigger than the next one when the Toon arrive at a sell-out Elland Road in a fortnight but I am now convinced we will be at least a match for them.

Game Statistics:

                        Norwich C      Leeds Utd

Possession          52%                     48%

Shots                     17                         21

On Target               5                           9

Corners                   4                           5

Fouls                      14                        13