ALAN Irvine praised the approach of Norwich City's players after they came through a stern test against Barnsley to earn a deserved 2-0 win at Carrow Road on Saturday.
The Canaries controlled much of the contest against a side who have impressed in the Sky Bet Championship this term, with Jacob Murphy's strike just before the interval setting them on their way to three points.
Victory was secured by an Angus MacDonald own-goal in the second period, and after the match Irvine told Norwich City TV: "We had absolutely no doubt that it would be a tough game.
"Barnsley have won eight games away from home, which is a really high number in this division. We knew we had to do well to win this game, and overall the players did really well.
"I felt we had chances to score more goals but, of course, they had chances to score as well. Thankfully, we got the two that mattered.
"The players have done exactly what I expected. They're a very honest group and it's been a pleasure to work with them on the training ground this week.
"They applied themselves extremely well and I can't really praise them enough in terms of how they've gone about their jobs this week."
The win lifts City back to within five points of the top six, after results elsewhere in the division this weekend went in their favour.
"There are enough points to play for," Irvine added when offering his thoughts on the Canaries' prospects for the remainder of the season.
"If we pick up enough of those in the final eight games we'll give ourselves a chance of getting into the play-offs. Of course we need other teams to slip up, but there are no certainties in this league.
"We'll hopefully win enough games between now and the end of the season to put pressure on the teams above us. I was hoping we could get good points for the club, so I'm pleased.
"It could easily have been six out of six, were it not for circumstances in the first game."