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SEASON REVIEW: APRIL

12 June 2015

Canaries begin preparations for play-off campaign

RESULTS RUN-DOWN
W - 0-1 v Brighton & Hove Albion (A) 03/04/2015 - Championship
W - 2-0 v Sheffield Wednesday (H) 06/04/2015 - Championship
W - 1-2 v Bolton Wanderers (A) 11/04/2015 - Championship
W - 0-2 v Leeds United (A) 14/04/2015 - Championship
L - 0-1 v Middlesbrough (H) 17/04/2015 - Championship
D - 1-1 v Rotherham United (H) 25/04/2015 - Championship

ON THE PITCH
Alex Neil's side began April with a testing trip to Brighton & Hove Albion, where they faced former City boss, Chris Hughton.

However, a solitary goal from Bradley Johnson proved enough to secure an invaluable 1-0 win which reaffirmed their promotion credentials.

Johnson again played a key role in the Canaries' next match, scoring twice in a 2-0 victory over Sheffield Wednesday at Carrow Road.

However, the midfielder was booked during the game, resulting in a two-game suspension which saw him miss the visits to Bolton Wanderers and Leeds United.

In the first of those outings, a defected Graham Dorrans put the away side in front early on ahead of Adam Le Fondre levelling for the Trotters.

City were forced to dig deep to get the result they needed, with Gary Hooper's composed finish in injury-time ensuring a 2-1 win in the final few seconds.


Next up, the Canaries faced Leeds United at Elland Road, missing a chance to take a first half lead when Dorrans hit the crossbar with a penalty.

Despite that disappointment, they went in front on 57 minutes when Jonny Howson calmly angled a shot home against his boyhood Club.

As the game moved into injury-time, Dorrans then atoned for his earlier miss by thrashing into the net after good work from Cameron Jerome to complete a 2-0 victory.

Norwich returned to Carrow Road three days later, knowing a win against Middlesbrough would take them to the top of the table for the first time in 2015.

It wasn't to be, however, with Alex Tettey inadvertently flicking into his own net after eight minutes to give Aitor Karanka's side the spoils.

City ended the month away to relegation-threatened Rotherham United, and saw Lewis Grabban dismissed midway through the first half.

Substitute Gary Hooper put the visitors in front in stunning fashion during the second period, only for a late Jordan Bowery goal to level matters at 1-1.

The result, combined with Bournemouth's victory the following Monday, meant the Canaries had to settle for a place in the Sky Bet Championship play-offs with one game of the regular season remaining.


OFF THE PITCH

Norwich City captain Russell Martin signed a new three-year contract, before going on to be named in the Sky Bet Championship PFA Team of the Year later in the month.

Youngsters Bilal Kamal and Glenn Middleton also penned long-term deals with the Club ahead of the game against Middlesbrough, which was dedicated to Armed Forces Day.

Former Canaries left-back Adam Drury completed the Virgin London Marathon alongside three others with connections to Carrow Road, with the quartet racing in aid of the Community Sports Foundation.

The second episode of Canary Cribz aired, this time featuring City's Spanish-speaking contingent touring the house of Carlos Cuellar.

Finally, Norwich Under-16s side followed the example of the senior team by defeating Ipswich Town 3-0 at Portman Road to win the Ipswich Hospital Cup.


PLAYER OF THE MONTH
Bradley Johnson was named 'Anglian Home Improvements Player of the Month' for April after scoring three times in four appearances.

The midfielder began the month by notching the only goal in City's win at Brighton & Hove Albion, before scoring both in the 2-0 success over Sheffield Wednesday three days later.

A booking picked up in the latter match kept him out of the visits to Bolton Wanderers and Leeds United, but Johnson subsequently returned to the side for the games against Middlesbrough and Rotherham United.



QUOTE OF THE MONTH
"The first 15 minutes was the reason we didn't pick up a result tonight. We had a couple of opportunities in the game, but we'd have liked to have created more." - Alex Neil reacts to Norwich City's 1-0 defeat to Middlesbrough at Carrow Road.


GOAL OF THE MONTH
Gary Hooper won 'Aviva Goal of the Month' for April in recognition of his stunning volley against Rotherham United.

With the Canaries reduced to ten men early on, the forward stepped off the bench as a first half replacement for Wes Hoolahan.

The change had the desired impact, with Hooper belting into the top-corner from outside the box just before the hour-mark.


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