After Norwich City kickstarted their Easter weekend with a comeback win over Plymouth Argyle, Connor Southwell delivers six things you might have missed from Carrow Road.

1 - Comeback kings 

With seven games remaining for Norwich City in the Championship this season, there will be plenty of twists and turns ahead.

Very few inside Carrow Road were expecting Morgan Whittaker to give out of form Plymouth Argyle the lead inside the opening ten minutes. Even less would have expected the visitors to retain that advantage for 57 minutes.

Frustration set in just before the break. A tetchiness in the ground began to seep onto the pitch, leading to rash decision-making.

The key was patience. Norwich were creating chances but lacked a clinical edge. Despite a second half performance that wasn’t as free-flowing as the first, they eventually found the necessary answers.

It was another comeback for David Wagner’s side – the fourth game they have won when trailing from behind at half time in nine since November 11th. That hadn’t happened in the 42 games prior in those circumstances.

This didn’t contain that razzmatazz of victories over Rotherham or Stoke prior to the break, but it felt just as satisfying. It was the type of game that Norwich wouldn’t have won earlier in the campaign.

It serves as evidence of how they’ve grown as a group since the turn of the year and exudes the type of mental resilience that will prove pivotal in the run-in.

2 - Fine margins 

Given the huffing and puffing in front of goal, Norwich City had to rely on set pieces to help them score the goals required to record an invaluable three points.

Both Josh Sargent’s strike and Ashley Phillips’ own goal came directly from corners – taking Norwich's tally for set-piece goals up to 15 – only Cardiff has netted more from dead ball situations.

It is an area of the game that plenty of work has been put into behind the scenes, led by coach Andrew Hughes and set play analyst Billy Wright, who did a similar job at Watford last season.

Norwich only scored nine goals from set pieces last season, despite having a dedicated set piece coach in Alan Russell for the vast majority of the campaign. The uplift has been remarkable.

The challenge is not only the concentration required to dedicate time to set piece training, something players find challenging, but also the variety of routines due to how extensive and in-depth video analysis has become in the game.

Those 15 goals have come from 207 corners; only nine teams have had more in the whole division. 98 of those deliveries have been inswingers, and 74 have been outswingers. A lot have been placed at the near post for first contacts.

It is a meticulous science and one that is undervalued by many sides. Norwich have found a secret weapon that can help decide games.  

3 - Sargent goals

Every week Josh Sargent seems to earn himself a place in six things – but that is simply because he keeps producing remarkable things.

The American has now scored 14 goals in 19 Championship matches this season. Nine of those have come in City’s last eight home league matches. 11 since his return from injury.

He has become just the second player in the division’s history to score in nine consecutive home matches after Chuba Akpom for Middlesbrough between January and April 2023, as per Opta. It is a remarkable statistic that underpins his influence on his City side.

Of those nine games, four have been settled by a single goal or ended in a 1-1 draw, showing how his goals have carried Norwich over some fine margins since his return from injury.

Post match, Wagner described him as a ‘complete’ striker. That is why he is being monitored by so many Premier League outfits.

What makes this run all the more extraordinary is the fact that Sargent is still nursing that ankle that ruled him out of a significant portion of the Championship campaign.

Across the top four divisions, only Ellis Simms (13) and Sammie Szmodics (12) has more goals than Sargent’s 11 since the turn of the year – more than Manchester City’s Erling Haaland (nine).

A remarkable run by a player who continues to defy the odds.

The Pink Un: Leicester City have won one of their last six Championship matches.Leicester City have won one of their last six Championship matches. (Image: PA Images)

4 - Wounded animal 

Norwich travel to Leicester City this afternoon, hoping to become the latest team to inflict another blow on Enzo Maresca’s side.

There was a time when the Foxes looked set to break records as they romped to the Championship title at a canter, but they have faltered of late – winning just once in their last six league matches.

Individual quality has dragged them across the line, and David Wagner feels that they have the best squad in the division. There is a frustration that has set in as they’ve left the door open for promotion challengers Ipswich and Leeds.

Wagner referenced their underlying performance data as showing they have fallen on the wrong side of variants and luck. He is right. They have edged all those six games in expected goals, showing a lack of clinical edge in their game.

Despite their poor form, Leicester still have it all in their own hands. They have a game in hand and will be desperate to return to winning ways. With the Easter Monday clash being at lunchtime, they can return to the summit of the table with victory.

Wagner alluded to it, but there is a worry that Norwich are on the receiving end of pent-up frustration and anguish over recent weeks. The task for them is to suppress it, expose the frailties and continue their momentum.

The Pink Un: David Wagner may have to manage his squad over the weeks ahead.David Wagner may have to manage his squad over the weeks ahead. (Image: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd)

5 - Stick or twist? 

Given this is the second game in four days and the latest in a run of five in just over two weeks as the Championship campaign enters its final stretch.

This period will serve as a real test of City’s squad, with Jon Rowe set for a return and Shane Duffy featuring in the matchday squad for the first time in eight matches after a calf injury.

Wagner has made little secret of the fact that he feels the squad is on the lighter side after the January departures of Przemyslaw Placheta and Adam Forshaw. That has opened routes for the likes of Ken Aboh, Finley Welch, Waylon Renecke, and now Guilherme Montoia to be on the bench.

Norwich are yet to see the best of Sydney van Hooijdonk and the versatile Liam Gibbs will help them plug gaps. Preservation against injuries, particularly of Josh Sargent, Gabriel Sara and Borja Sainz to name but three, is of paramount importance.

This run will be a proper test of their competitiveness and depth, especially in matches where they may need a spark from the bench.

Wagner and his coaching team may need to find some creative solutions to any problems. That may require some squad management when required.

The Pink Un: Norwich City are preparing for a busy and difficult week.Norwich City are preparing for a busy and difficult week. (Image: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd)

6 - Big week ahead

This is the start of a mega week for the Canaries – there can be doubt about it.

Leicester away and then the small matter of Ipswich Town at home will be the toughest tests they have faced in recent weeks. Two automatic promotion challengers – but a subplot could be that they may well face one of them in the play-offs.

Friday’s victory over Plymouth ensures that they will head into the East Anglian derby inside the top six. But if Coventry beat Cardiff at home, it would no longer be in their hands, given that the Sky Blues have a game in hand.

Right now, Opta are giving Norwich a 42pc chance of finishing in sixth place. They have completed 10,000 simulations of the remainder of the Championship season, and they finish with an average of 74.57 points.

That would be enough for sixth place. But in an unpredictable league where so many sides are still competing for something, nothing can be taken for granted. ‘Say less, work more’ is the motto adopted by David Wagner.

Three of their next four matches are away from home. They will need a decent points haul to retain their cushion to their challengers.

Given their current form, the message from the dressing room is clear: Bring it on.