Harrison Reed had a birthday to remember after deputising at right-back and helping City to victory at Griffin Park.
Reed, who turned 23 today, did a sterling job at right wing-back following Ivo Pinto’s injury in midweek, and was pleased to help the backline keep a clean sheet against Brentford.
“Coming into the game I thought three points was the best present, and we got it,” Reed said. “Ivo’s been struggling all week, so I had an inkling it might happen because I’ve done it in training before and I thought the boss might give me the call.
“He spoke to me after dinner last night and asked if I wouldn’t mind being flexible on my birthday and I said I was up for it!
“As a central midfielder I’m quite aware of the position, and I had big Grant [Hanley] next to me helping me out.
“I felt confident coming into the game, and I’m pleased with the performance, pleased with the win and I’m buzzing.”
Brentford spent much of the first half trying to attack down City’s right, but Reed looked comfortable in an unfamiliar position.
“They might have looked at the right-back situation and identified that as a weakness of ours,” he said. “The left-back was bombing on and Ollie Watkins was coming inside and outside. He beat me a couple of times but I think I got the better of him.
“To be a versatile player is good for me, and it’s good for the manager.”
Reed was full of praise for James Maddison’s winning strike, which added to a season of sensational goals for Norwich’s number 23.
“To do that five minutes in – to put it through the player’s legs and then find the corner – is special. He shows it every day in training and he’s showing it every game this season.
“He’s very hard-working – he knows he’s a good player and he knows he’s got talent, but he also works really hard for the team and in training he’s always defending well and then showing the magic he can do when he gets the ball.”
Norwich sit eight points off the play-off positions, but Reed says the team still believe they can break into the top six.
“As a squad we know we should be pushing for the play-offs, so the pressure is on us,” he said. “We know the fans want us to be up there, and we want to be up there.
“We take it game by game, and that’s what we’ll do from now on. It’s been an up-and-down season for us but when we find consistency and we defend well as a unit, we’ve always got the attacking players who can create and score goals. When we find the basics we win games.”