Random Star Performer - Keith Stroud
Keith Stroud. Obviously Adam Bogdan's wandering mind pushed him close, but the referee dug us out of a few holes. Timm Klose's amorous hug of Will Grigg late in the first half was a big let off at the time and looked even bigger by full-time, given how Wigan's confidence went from 0-60 in one Jordi Gomez goal. A poor refereeing display by neutral standards. An excellent one if you're in yellow and green.
Moment of the match
Like most siblings, the J Murphs are desperately competing for everyone's attention. Josh's sublime finish nicked him this on Saturday, so 72 hours later Jacob wanted some limelight back and took it with his superb robbing of Bogdan and calm finish just 3 minutes in. With team's coming to sit in at Carrow Road this season, an early goal was priceless and to do it in such amusing circumstances was a joy to see.
Star man, 87/100 footballs. with the only minor errors being booking Jonny Howson for a run of the mill midfield squirmish and actually not making a lot of correct decisions if you're a stickler for the laws of the game. The fact we benefited from a poor display, only makes that display better.
Biggest positive to take
Michael McGovern's credentials have, for some unbeknown reason, come into question with a section of City fans recently. Maybe people don't like change (they're still Opal Fruits, not Starburst) so seeing John Ruddy warming the bench may leave people feeling uneasy.
On the evidence of last night however, and the weekend victory over Cardiff, the Northern Irish international will do just fine as long as he keeps hold of the shirt. Two incredibly smart stops in a dour second half kept Carrow Road from melting down once more, although most of the fans were melting anyway due to the ridiculous heat.
It also gives Big John some spare time to help his wife expand the range of ladieswear in the club shop. We've got our eye on a cracking scarf and blouse combo, no diamantes in sight either.
Another gift of a goal to the opposition, but at least we've cut the number of presents we're giving from 3 to 1 since the Birmingham game. Keep that up and it's a clean sheet at Forest Saturday.
Without going all Mr Carrow though, the fitness of the players may well need to be called into question. Should we ask what's going on in training? Too many of the starting eleven looked jaded during a second half we really struggled in. This might be due to what Alex Neil identified as a lack of game time, but tired muscles potentially mean injuries and the half time withdrawal of Alex Tettey and Ivo Pinto was a worrying sign. Not only because this weakened the team, but because it deprived Alex Neil of game changing options from the bench. With his brother Jacob wilting in the heat, it would have been ideal to bring on Murphy number 2 to provide more of a ball carrying outlet to relieve pressure.
A decent effort given the lack of away fans, but for long periods this was too easy to really stir much emotion from the crowd. That said when the going got tough the crowd tried to lift the players for one last push over the line, rather than get straight on their backs, which is to be commended. Moan afterwards all you like (and boy did people) but during the game get behind the team. We did that last night. Well done boys and girls, a ten fold improvement from the weekend. Carrow Road under the lights usually doesn't fail to deliver some sort of atmosphere and we didn't even hear about a certain striker being on fire, which was nice.
Wigan were really poor during the first 45 and we were so comfortable for long periods that had we been more clinical it could have been 4 or 5. A laboured victory, but a win is a win and for now it's all that matters. It should be noted if we replicate this form from now until April we'll have 84 points with 4 games remaining. Not bad by our reckoning, but of course its early days.
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