A Weight Lifted
Two second half goals from Brett Ormerod and Charlie Adam saw off the Canaries on the same day in which Alan Gow and Wes Hoolahan returned to their former club for the first time.
Keith Southern was a surprise inclusion into the starting line-up, replacing Claus Jorgensen in the centre of midfield and provided a much-needed rugged edge in the middle of the park. His contribution can sometimes be criminally overlooked when compared to other players, but he is arguably one of our more important players and it will be key to keep him fit and available for selection.
With Brett Ormerod's goal on 55 minutes came a personal milestone for the veteran striker. He brought his total career goals tally to 100, and wasted little time in celebrating that fact in front of the very fans that called him 'God' going on 8 years ago. A bitter-sweet moment for him, no doubt.
Charlie Adam also showed his worth to the ongoing battle to stay in The Championship, by pitching in with a beautiful strike of his own on 76 minutes - the ball fell to him outside the area and he launched it over Marshall in the City goal with a superb strike.
Perhaps a more important thing coming away from the game, given our -15 goal difference heading into it, is the fact that the defence worked solidly throughout and kept a clean sheet. Alex Baptiste and Shaun Barker are quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with and Ian Evatt and Rob Edwards will have a tough task ahead of them to oust the duo from the starting line-up.
Credit, too, must go to Danny Coid who - after his comments about being frustrated at being the 'utility man' during the week - has knuckled down of-late and has really made a mark on the team in the right-back position, giving another dimension both in defence and in attack.
The victory leaves a little bit of breathing space between 'Pool and the teams below them - 6 points between themselves and Norwich, and a five point gap on the relegation zone itself.
A tough trip to a resurgent Sheffield United on Tuesday evening is followed by another away game, this time at Barnsley - a game in which, should the Seasiders emerge victorious, could go a long way to determining how the rest of the season is to go.
The hard work has more or less been done. This afternoon's result could well shape the rest of the season...much in the same way that a negative result on Tuesday night could spell disaster going into the Barnsley game a week today.
Cries of 'We are staying up!' may well be premature, but it's certainly not out of the question yet.
Over to you, Mr. Parkes.