WOLVES (A); THE REVIEW

23/02/18

Dughall McCormick got to enjoy a second last gasp leveller in 4 days, as City earned a deserved point at the league leaders. In keeping with the spirit of this Norwich side, we've held on to his review until it is nearly too late. Enjoy.

Random star performer
How can you deliberately position your head between the ball and the striker's boot in a suicidal last-ditch defensive move and not be, at the very least, named random star performer?

Christoph Zimmerman had an immense (if not flawless) game at Molineux.

While his mistakes were costly, he more than amply made up for them with a goal (what odds on Hanley bagging one in the next fixture to make it three out of three in three for the back three?). Zimmerman has more than stepped up to this level and forms part of a defensive unit that would be the envy of many above Norwich in the league. The man's devotion and dedication ooze from his every pore and the levels of commitment are characteristic of the wider Farkelife project.

Moment of the match
Nelson, why did I ever doubt you? A speculative and unlikely long-range effort in the dying seconds, 'helped' by 'Agent Ruddy' saw the travelling faithful once more enjoy last minute raptures when all hope seemed lost.

After Sunday's equaliser against our local rivals, it was good to see no Norwich fans heading for the exits prematurely and their patience was duly rewarded. Just rewards too for Oliveira who has noticeably upped his work-rate and application in recent weeks. A long barren spell now ended that will hopefully open the floodgates.

Farke watch
Three changes made to the starting lineup from the local Derby and on the day it would be hard to argue with them. Watkins, Srbeny and Vrancic came in for Murphy, Oliveira and Tettey and fulfilled very similar and effective functions without making a particularly strong argument for future starts; in fact, Murphy looked the more dangerous when he came on as a sub and Oliveira scored similarly.

There was a first start for Srbeny who was industrious while not lighting any fires (although against a very robust Wolves defence, it would be harsh to be too critical).
More of the same patient possession play typified the majority of City's time on the ball and was the overwhelming characteristic of the second half. It continues to frustrate a little as the lack of a rapid change of pace or creativity can lead to too many situations merely fizzling rather than developing into anything dangerous. Having said that, the style came in for praise amongst a proportion of Wolves fans who lauded us as one of the better footballing sides to visit them this season.

Biggest positive to take
There were many, many positives to take from this game.

The end of Oliveira's barren spell? A point away at the league leaders? A last minute goal to bring honours even? An overall, assured performance? There were more but I think for me it is a more holistic thing.

Farke's project really does seem to be taking some solid shape and it's much more than the brand of football being served up. It is the camaraderie, the teamwork, the fitness, the resilience, the commitment, the whole 'feel' of things that makes me think we really are on to something here and, if not this season, then it bodes very well for the future. These things are the things that you can't buy and, with a dwindling budget, the things you can't buy become increasingly important.

Weekly whinge
I'm learning to tolerate it, honestly I am. It was those around me that were doing the majority of whinging this time and I only joined in a few times: "Get it forward!", "Not backwards again!", "Now! Into the box!", "Groan!" It'll come, it's easier now than it was but there are still frustrations.

I'd like to also add to the Wolves those 'fans' who took to social media as the second Wolves goal went in: "Farke wanted a measure of how far his side is off the best in this league. Taken 25 mins to get a definitive answer", "I was stupid to think we'd get anything from this, Wolves a class above", "We going to lose by 5 or more tonight ain't we?", "If the season wasn't over before, it's dead and buried now".

Keep your negativity to yourselves please and have some faith in the lads.

Atmosphere rating
A fairly limp performance really.

Away fans were situated in the upper section of an end which may have contributed to a more muted showing. Good on a small collection of enthusiasts who kept things bubbling along the whole game. As a regular away supporter, I'm always a bit disappointed, as I was at Molineux, when the consensus seems to be for seated support. Amends were made though in the 93rd minute of course with appropriate 'scenes'.

The home fans were in good voice and offered stirring encouragement throughout.

Summary
This was a good result that few would have predicted which extends the unbeaten run to 12 now.

Another solid team performance on the road against stiff opposition (albeit they probably didn't bring their A game).

Many, many reasons for optimism remain and are emerging. Realistically, play-off hopes must now be pretty minimal but some small hope still remains and some winnable fixtures follow.

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