SLEEP has been in short supply this week after arriving home happy in the early hours of Wednesday morning from the cracking match up at the Stadium of Light.

But as we deliberated over our Doombar, hopes were high that our insomnia was worth it as we now are witnessing our belated start to the season. Two draws from two matches, the length of the country apart were two hard earned points gained in my book, but the measure of our recent improvement meant there was disappointment that we didn’t end up with two victories. Back to today’s challenge and we were up against a Norwich team who had won their last four away matches. A win today would make our recent unbeaten run very good and send us into the international break on a high for a change. A defeat would undo most of the good work done recently.

Phil Parkinson had the luxury of naming an unchanged starting XI.

For the first half hour we hardly touched the ball as the Canaries pinged the ball around like it was in a pinball machine.

Fortunately, they didn’t do much with the ball, although I dread to think what the possession statistics were up to that point.

However, the only stats that count are the goals scored and the goal machine, Gary Madine put us ahead when he finished off a great move down the right. It was like someone had flicked a switch and we were now in control. Adam Armstrong, who has been getting nearer every match, finally got on the score sheet with a great curling shot. Now he has finally got his bearings, let’s hope for some more.

Predictably, Norwich came at us in the second half, but our defence stood strong and we looked dangerous on the break. They pulled one back with almost the last kick of the game, much to my relief as I had a bet on a 2-1 scoreline.

We’re off the bottom for at least 24 hours. We’re catching up to the pack. A month ago, we were well adrift. But now we are competitive. We’re closing the opposition down in their half. We’re defending as a team. We’re scoring goals from open creative play. There is still a long way to go and a lot of hard work to be done but who’s that coming up the hill, boys?