Norwich manager Daniel Farke believes his side are beginning to get into their stride after watching them beat Birmingham 1-0 at Carrow Road to make it two Championship wins in the space of four days.
The relegated Canaries had started the new season slowly, taking just four points from their opening four games, but followed up Saturday’s hard-fought 2-1 victory at Rotherham with a well-deserved success against a defensive Blues side.
An 87th-minute strike from substitute Mario Vrancic settled the issue, moments after Birmingham midfielder Adam Clayton had been sent off for a second bookable offence, meaning Farke could celebrate his first success at Carrow Road since Leicester were dispatched by the same scoreline in the Premier League back in February.
He said: “It is never easy for relegated sides like us because our opponents are always up for the game and know a win will be a big result for them.
“They make it tough for us and Birmingham certainly did, defending really well with their 5-4-1 shape.
“We had to be patient and it was a case of keep working hard and keep working for a solution. We had a lot of chances, and some decisions didn’t go our way, but we got our goal in the end and it was a big relief for all of us.
“It was pleasing to see the substitutions come off, with Mario getting the goal, and I don’t think anyone could say the win wasn’t well deserved.”
The victory lifted Norwich up to seventh in the table, with a home game against rock-bottom Wycombe coming up, and Farke is pleased with his side’s start to the campaign.
He added: “Ten points from six games is a decent start and I am happy with that because as I said it is never easy for teams coming down to the Championship.
“To have won back to back games is very pleasing – it’s good for the mood around the place, good for the table and good for the confidence of the players.
“There are a lot of positives to build on but we know we need to make more of all the chances we are creating. We are doing a lot of things very well at the moment but our finishing needs to improve.”
Birmingham boss Aitor Karanka was feeling hard done by after the game – just as he did on Saturday after a controversial Barry Bannan penalty had condemned his side to another 1-0 defeat against Sheffield Wednesday.
He said: “I feel very sorry for my players after that.
“They are exhausted after putting in a lot of hard work and frustrated after seeing another big decision go against them. On Saturday it was the penalty and tonight it was the red card.
“They were just two fouls from Adam Clayton, nothing more, and he has picked up two yellow cards. Then when we are trying to reorganise with 10 men Norwich get their goal.
“I can’t criticise my players after that – in fact I am very proud of them. We had a number of players unavailable and had to go into the game with a new shape against a very good team who were in the Premier League last season. We defended very well and it was very disappointing to lose it in the end.”
Birmingham are without a victory in five games since winning their opener against Brentford but Karanka is confident the tide will turn having taken over during the summer.
He added: “It is still very early in the season but we brought in 11 new players in the close season, some of whom weren’t available to us tonight, and it will take time for everyone to settle in.
“We have only just started – and I am sure results will improve.”