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Joe Pateman: Jonny Rowe has grown into Canaries role

Many think I’ve taken a random interest in the eastern European country whose football team also dons the yellow. But no, I’m talking about the flurry of 27 shirts ready for pick-up in the club shop, songs being sung on Radio 5 Live, and social media showcasing what is now becoming a trademark beaming smile. I’m talking about Jonny Rowe.

Certainly, a young player scoring five goals in five consecutive games is an impressive feat that often captures the attention of fans inside and outside of NR1. Rowe is certainly enjoying himself; that much is clear to see.

In Rowe’s early appearances for the club, it was clear there was a fierceness in him and a willingness to get on the ball and make something happen, but the player we have seen in the early stages of the season is something bigger. Literally.

Rowe can boast a much more physical build now, something that has significantly improved his performances. During the ‘behind the scenes’ video for David Wagner’s first day at Colney, we were privy to the first meeting between Wagner and Rowe, the latter expressing his desire to get back to action after injury. The setting for this conversation was, of course, the gym. The hard work has clearly paid off.

Speaking of injuries, it’s such a huge blow to lose Josh Sargent for an extended period. His desire and commitment to notch his third goal of the season ultimately came at a cost. I had tipped Sargent for a 20-goal haul this season, which he was showing every sign of achieving – he was certainly in his finest form in yellow and green.

Personally, I’m hoping for the quickest recovery possible, but the question is, how do we replace him in the short term?

Norwich Evening News: Adam Idah - time to shineAdam Idah – time to shine (Image: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd)

Ever since Adam Idah burst onto the scene, terrorising Preston North End’s defenders and claiming a debut hat-trick, it is fair to say there has certainly never been a better chance for Idah to shine than now. His pace and physicality caused worry for Huddersfield Town on Saturday, and his cool finish perhaps displayed a lift in confidence.

Whether it has been injuries to himself limiting his game time or injuries to others preventing him from a loan spell, Idah has never had an opportunity to have a decent run of games. In fact, across his 75 league appearances, he has averaged just 32 minutes per game.

With the sheer number of chances we are currently creating and with our support, I can see Idah showing us why he was rewarded with a five-year contract six months ago.

Maybe Idah succeeding in making the shirt his own could take inspiration from another Irishman, way back in 2001. I remember cautiously watching as Chris Llewellyn, our great hope at the time, was forced off against Manchester City, only for Paul McVeigh to replace him and score that day. McVeigh was instrumental in the road to the play-offs and became a Norwich legend. We love him, if it’s quite alright..

The only thing standing in the way of us extending our unbeaten run into the international break is winless Rotherham.

The Millers will host us today, hoping to improve on the three league wins they have tallied since March. Hope could be the key term. Other than our excellent early-season form, there are some encouraging details ahead of the game.

Favourably, six of the 10 goals conceded by Rotherham this season have been from crosses, with another being a resulting penalty that was won following a cross in the box. Encouragingly, we lead the division in headers scored (four), with us also supplying the second most crosses in the Championship so far.

Let’s hope Hull City, unbeaten since their trip to Carrow Road, prevent Leicester from continuing to win by one goal for the fifth consecutive game and allow us to enjoy two weeks at the top.


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