Daniel Farke said his City side fulfilled all his wishes with a superb second half performance earning them the win.
The Canaries turned the game around in the final 45 minutes with two more goals and a dominate display to beat Bristol City 3-2 at Carrow Road.
And Farke said it was an important victory for his team.
“This was without any doubt a huge win for us,” he said. “We played against an in-form Bristol who were there with many, many wins in a row and just a few points behind us and a few games in hand. It was important to keep the distance with them and we were even able to create a bigger gap. I told the lads already it’s a massive win in a complicated game. It was a high-class game but a well-deserved win because of the second half.”
Norwich went a goal down 12 minutes in and quickly conceded again after getting the equaliser in the 36th minute. But Farke said they knew what they had to do at half time to make an impact.
“We spoke before the game about how we more or less needed to play like it was a final because we knew when we have the chance to create a bigger gap to position seven in the table it would mean we are in a brilliant position to be there at least in the play-offs,” he said.
“We were so greedy to win and we spoke about a few tactical details at half time in our positioning to improve our game with the ball but also against the ball and the lads fulfilled all my wishes in the second half in a brilliant way.
“My feeling was that we reacted pretty good [when they scored] and even before the equaliser Teemu was there with a brilliant chance and then we got a brilliant equaliser. In the moment after we equalised, we were too greedy in our pressing and Bristol was able to use this situation to go back in the lead.
“But I think how we reacted after that, especially in the second half, was outstanding. We were able to dominate them and create so many chances – I think just in the second half we had 16 shots on their goal and didn’t give one chance away. When you don’t score the fourth goal to kill the game then you have to defend pretty clinical and I can’t remember one chance for Bristol in the second half. I’m proud of my lads today.”
Kenny McLean made his second start in recent weeks and went on to score his first and second goals for the Club, with City’s top goal-scorer Teemu Pukki getting an assist.
Farke said: “I was happy that we were able to play Teemu because the last two days he was in bed with illness and we didn’t want to speak about this before because I didn’t want to scare our supporters and give Bristol hope. I was totally pleased that he was able to handle the load and he was involved in the first goal with a brilliant assist for Kenny.
“It’s so important that we have so many threats at the moment, Kenny today with two goals and even our defensive player Ben Godfrey today was able to add a goal so it’s important we are not always relying on one player. We win as a group and this was again a brilliant example of that.”
The match also saw the return of Mario Vrancic and Timm Klose who came on as second-half substitutes after being out with injuries. And Farke said he is pleased to have his squad almost back to full strength going into the final games of the season.
“I’m pleased that I have them all back in,” he said. “Timm with his experience in the last minutes and also his ability to clear sometimes with his head. And I wanted Mario in the last minutes of the game because he is such an experienced player and helps with a set piece or the long balls.
"I’m pleased to have these players back and it’s also important right now to have one more week for Moritz Leitner, Timm and Mario and also Alex Tettey as it’s important in the crunch time of the season that you have all of your players available and it doesn’t look too bad at the moment.”
The atmosphere at Carrow Road was electric once again today and Farke spoke about celebrating special wins with the fans.
“My feeling is that the players should be there in front of the fans and celebrating with them because it’s more that they should be praised and not the Head Coach, but it has more or less become a ritual in the recent weeks and I don’t want to disappoint our supporters.
"Of course I enjoy it as well and this feeling today was really special because it was such a huge and important win against a direct opponent for the first position in the league and for that the feeling today was even sweeter than in the moments before and it felt great to be on the pitch [at end]."