Sunday Mirror

Canaries pecking at door


- By JAMES NURSEY at Pride Park Dowell

DANIEL FARKE hailed Norwich’s “steel” as they moved to the verge of an immediate Premier League return.

Kieran Dowell won it with a stunning first-half free-kick as the Canaries continued their march to the title.

But this was a rather workmanlik­e victory, unlike the champagne football from Tuesday’s 7-0 win over Huddersfie­ld.

Norwich could have clinched promotion here had other results gone their way but Swansea and Brentford both won.

Yet with 90 points in the bag already, Farke should soon be tasting fizz after

21 seeing off Wayne Rooney’s Derby.

His side now need just two more points to be mathematic­ally promoted.

The German coach, whose side are unbeaten in 13 games, said: “It was a hardfought win, not a magic night like Tuesday.

“But this has the same value for me.

“It was not champagne football but we showed fighting steel. It was a world-class free-kick.

“It was difficult because it was so close to the goal and the wall was also tall. You needed a special technique which Kieran has. My gut feeling now is 90 points is always enough.

“I am pretty sure at the end of the season we will celebrate promotion with this win. But you can only really celebrate and relax when it is actually over the line.

“We need two more points as soon as possible and want to finish the season in style.”

Norwich soon started to show their class and dominate proceeding­s at Pride Park as Kenny McLean and Todd Cantwell had early efforts.

Dowell also hit the sidenettin­g with a free-kick. It served as a marker when Norwich were awarded a free-kick in a similar position in the 21st minute. This time the former Everton youngster curled a superb effort into the top corner.

Derby had few openings and could not get past defender Grant Hanley and keeper Tim Krul, who did well to save from Teden Mengi and Patrick Roberts in the second half.

Graeme Shinnie could have snatched a point in stoppage time but blazed over after Colin Kazim-Richards had dispossess­ed Krul outside the box.

It is still just one win in 10 games for Wayne Rooney’s Rams, who remain in grave danger of the drop.

Rooney, whose side play

Blackburn Rovers and Preston North End away next, insisted: “We know what we need to do. It’s still in our hands.

“If we perform like we did today we will be fine.

“The next games are going to be big games for us.”

DERBY: Marshall 6; McDonald 6 (Ebosele 84, 6), Wisdom 6, Mengi 6, Forsyth 6 Booked; Bird 7 Booked, Shinnie 6 Booked; Roberts 7 Booked,Lawrence 6 (Watson 84), Jozwiak 6 (Sibley 69, 6); Kazim-Richards 6.

Unused subs: Roos, Buchanan, Baningime, Cresswell, Knight,Shonibare

NORWICH: Krul 7; Aarons 7, Omobamidel­e 7, Hanley 8, Giannoulis 7; Skipp 7, McLean 8; Buendia 6 (Placheta 63,), Dowell 8 (Stieperman­n 62, 6), Cantwell 6 (Tettey 89); Pukki 6 (Hugill 84).

Unused subs: Nyland, Vrancic, Sorensen, Hernandez, Mumba.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Kenny McLean. Left-footed Scottish midfielder halted Rams and teed-up attacks.

REFEREE: Michael Salisbury 7.

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 ??  ?? YELLER FELLA Kieran Dowell struck only goal to edge closer to Prem
YELLER FELLA Kieran Dowell struck only goal to edge closer to Prem

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