Todd Cantwell says keeping a clean sheet was vital for Norwich City in their 2-0 victory over Everton at Goodison Park.
The Canaries had only achieved one previous shutout this season – the goalless draw with AFC Bournemouth on October 19 – but they produced a stern defensive display to keep their opponents at bay.
Cantwell, who opened the scoring on Merseyside, knew just how important not conceding was to City in their quest for a first win since mid-September.
“It’s a fantastic result. We came into the game feeling like it was a new period to achieve different results and to try and put what’s happened behind us and move forward,” he said.
“It says all you need to know about this team. We do stick together, we are going to fight and we’re going to give it everything.
“We’ve had a tough run of games and the results haven’t been what we wanted but when you build off a base of not conceding, you can’t lose a game.
“We really looked at that today. Zimbo [Christoph Zimmermann] coming back in gave us a massive boost to get a clean sheet.
“Everton have got some good players. The personnel they’ve got is scary, especially with their full-backs going forward. Me and Onel [Hernandez] knew we had a job today to be patient and precise in our defending.
“Going forward has never really been an issue for us, you look at the amount of goals we scored last year.
“We just knew that we needed to tighten up a bit today. Ben [Godfrey] and Zimbo were outstanding. Some of the blocks they put in helped our goals mean something.”
Cantwell’s opener was City’s first away from home since the opening day defeat at Liverpool. It was calm, collected finish after determined work from Teemu Pukki.
“I know how hard it is for a goalkeeper,” he added. “Tim [Krul] and Ralf [Fährmann] always tell me how hard it is to get down low.
“I saw Jordan [Pickford] take a little step to his right and that made my mind up. In that situation, it’s just important to get your touch right.
“I’m always running off Teemu because I know I’ll get a chance. I just stayed cool and found the back of the net.”
The City playmaker was also delighted to be able to celebrate with the away support, who were tucked away in the corner at Goodison Park.
“They turned out in their numbers after a tough run of results. We’ve stuck together and I think that’s why I ran straight over there. We are going to need them in the future.”