Bennett hails Norwich unity
Published 19/01/2014 | 14:07
Norwich's new goalscoring hero has praised the unity among the squad after the whole team joined Ryan Bennett in celebrating his late winner in Saturday's vital victory over Hull.
The Canaries had not won in eight games but a 1-0 victory over Steve Bruce's side moved them to 12th in the table and eased the pressure on manager Chris Hughton.
It was a game Norwich dominated, arguably more than any other this season, but they failed to create enough clear chances and relied on a Bennett header three minutes from time.
It was only the 23-year-old's second Barclays Premier League goal and Bennett felt the team's celebratory huddle was a sign to the fans that they have all been working hard to address the recent slump in form.
"It [the goal] is more important for the team," he said.
"I think we deserved it overall over the 90 minutes. Hopefully now we can push on. We had a few chances and we restricted them to hardly anything so it is always on your mind that we have found it difficult to score this year.
"We knew how big the game was. The lads are really close here and we were getting some stick from the fans.
"We have a solidarity between ourselves, we wanted to get together off the cuff and we said how important the goal was and to keep concentrated, it is something we carried into the dressing room after the game."
Bennett's goal came from Norwich's 10th corner of the game as Robert Snodgrass, who was a constant threat down the right flank all afternoon, delivered a set-piece that allowed the former England Under-21 international to power a header home.
Snodgrass praised the character of the team to bounce back after disappointing results at Everton and Fulham.
"It does hurt," he said.
"Some people, the fans especially, seem to think you can't have fun any more if the results aren't going well. You take it and it feels terrible when you aren't winning games.
"You are so low and you need something to pick you up and that is why I talk about strength in character and leaders in the team and we had that all week leading into the game."
The Scotland international, recently linked with a move to Celtic, has now called on the squad to continue their upturn in form.
"It is a big weight off everyone's shoulders," added Snodgrass.
"For us as players we need to try to take that level of performance into each game and the chances will come."
Former Norwich defender Bruce, whose side have taken just five points on the road since returning to the top flight, said the manner of the defeat was hard to stomach - even if his side did not deserve anything more.
"It is always hard to take when you lose in the last few minutes, as it is equally as ecstatic when one of those goes for your team," he said.
"It was frustrating for all of us. In truth we didn't really play well enough, particularly in the second half, to go and win the game but I thought we looked comfortable.
"They had a few corners and free-kicks but we defended well. Then we conceded late and that is always annoying."
Nikica Jelavic made his Hull debut while fellow new recruit Shane Long was not risked after injuring an ankle on his last outing for former club West Brom.
Croatia international Jelavic hit a post inside two minutes at Carrow Road but that was as good as it got for the Tigers, with Bruce anticipating better things to come from the 28-year-old.
"That was the one bit of quality that we showed all day," said Bruce.
"It was a great move down the left, (Robert) Koren cut it back and you'd expect him to stick it in the net but he's hit the post. But make no mistake, when we get it right he's going to be a big acquisition for us."