Norwich City column: New centre-half is a must to keep Canaries in hunt
Sunday’s defeat at Reading was a fitting way to end such a miserable year for Norwich City.
After three wins in four, including hitting six on Boxing Day, a lot of people, myself included, thought that we had turned a corner.
But again, defensive frailties cost Neil Adams’ side.
Russell Martin is not a player who deserves criticism, but the Reading match was another example of why he should not be playing at centre-half.
His lack of height and presence in the middle sees him struggle at times, especially against physical teams.
It was pleasing to see Ryan Bennett return to the side and hopefully more minutes on the pitch will see his performance improve.
Tactically, Adams reverted back to the more defensive minded midfield, leaving out Nathan Redmond.
Redmond was fantastic against Millwall, despite having two or three players around him for a majority of the game.
Even away from home the threat he possesses is too much to leave out — especially against a team like Reading, a team we needed to go out and take the initiative against.
With January approaching, it is a key month for City.
It is vital to keep hold of the likes of Gary Hooper and Redmond, two players linked with a move away in the summer.
Hooper has been playing in a deeper striker role, a bit like that of Wayne Rooney, and I think that has really helped him to flourish.
Then there is the question of where do we strengthen?
For me we are in need of a new centre back and maybe a right back - although we have plenty of options.
Either way, with Bournemouth on the horizon after this weekend’s FA Cup tie at Preston, improvement is needed fast, before we find ourselves too far from the top.
It would be nice to see City go on a bit of a cup run but we all know it is more than likely Preston will dump us out of the competition.
Happy NewYear and here is to a more successful 2015.