Norwich boss Daniel Farke was impressed with the way his side responded to an early setback as they beat Rotherham 3-1 to move back to the top of the Championship, after being temporarily knocked off the summit by Leeds.
The Canaries did not have things all their own way at Carrow Road, with Rotherham going in at the break one up thanks to a 10th minute goal from Richie Towell, who latched on to a loose ball after Tim Krul could only parry a Will Vaulks shot.
But the hosts took complete command in the second half and never looked back after youngster Todd Cantwell had fired home his first senior goal on 55 minutes following good work from Teemu Pukki.
The Canaries deservedly made it 2-1 in the 70th minute when Cantwell floated in a cross for an onrushing Aarons to open his league account and rounded off the win six minutes from time, with Pukki scoring his 12th of the season after defender Semi Ajayi had been caught in possession.
“It was a difficult start for us today and it was then important that we showed the right mentality, especially after the draw at Hull in midweek,” said Farke. “I was delighted with the way the team responded. For the first 25 minutes it was tough but for the next 65 minutes I thought we were brilliant going forward and at the back we didn’t allow them a single chance.
“In the end I think it was a well deserved win and I think we could easily have scored five of six goals with all the chances we created.”
Farke was delighted to see home grown youngsters Cantwell, Aarons and Jamal Lewis play key roles as Norwich stretched their excellent league run to seven wins and a draw in eight games.
“For all clubs it is good practice to bring through players like this – and I think the supporters appreciate it as well,” he said.
“It was good to see Todd back after injury and it was also good to see him playing well and coming up with an end product, which is important for an offensive player. Max has also done well today, and it was good to see him getting on the end of something and scoring a goal. Jamal also played a key role and I must compliment my young lads, although everyone played their part today.”
Rotherham’s Norfolk-born boss Paul Warne was disappointed his side were unable to build on their promising start to the game.
“In the end I though Norwich deserved the win – they created enough chances to have won the game comfortably,” he said. “But we got a good set-piece goal to go ahead early on and it could have been easily have been 2-0 (when Will Vaulks hit the post).
“We gave a good, well coached side a few problems but we lost a couple of players to injury and in the second half they dominated the game, although I thought we should have done a lot better with their second and third goals. At 2-1 down with 15 minutes to go I still fancied getting something from the game, but the third goal killed us.”
Warne said he enjoyed his first experience of managing at Carrow Road, having been brought up a Norwich fan.
“I didn’t come here to lose, that’s for sure, but it meant a lot to me to manage here, “ he said.
“It was a surreal moment when I walked out through the tunnel at Carrow Road.
“My mum and dad were following the match at home because dad hasn’t been too well but a lot of my family were here to see the game and I am going off to spend the evening with them now.”