Norwich head coach Daniel Farke praised striker Jordan Rhodes after seeing him score twice to earn his side a 2-1 Sky Championship win over Aston Villa to send them fourth.
City came from behind for the second time in four days to take the points, with Rhodes replacing Timm Klose as the two-goal star following the defender’s heroics at Nottingham Forest.
Villa took the lead on 19 minutes when defender James Chester headed home from a corner via a deflection off Tom Trybull but the Canaries got back on level terms from the same route nine minutes after the restart, with Rhodes nodding home.
The striker then scored what proved to be the winner on 72 minutes, prodding home a cross from Marco Stiepermann to round off an excellent Norwich move.
Farke was full of praise for Rhodes, saying: “I am pretty happy for him because no-one deserves to be the hero more than him. Of course the team is the hero but he deserves the headlines and he will handle it.
“I am happy for Jordan. From the first day he walked in I appreciated being able to work with him. It is a real pleasure for me. Even in the times when he had to wait a bit on the bench he was always there with so much support and so much commitment towards what we are doing.”
As for his side’s rise up the table, Farke added: “The position in the table is not so important. It is not a coincidence though because we have several good performances in a row. We are already happy to have so many points in the early stage of the season but the most important thing is to be concentrated on each and every game.
“It is good to be in such a relaxed position. We are enjoying ourselves but we must keep our feet on the ground and work on this level.”
New Villa boss Dean Smith felt his side deserved to take something for his second game in charge, having seen them beat Swansea 1-0 at home in his opener.
“On the whole I thought we played okay and certainly didn’t deserve to lose, ” he said. “Norwich can feel fortunate they won because it was a very even game.
“We got a great start with a goal from a set-piece, which is something we have been working on, and then had a good chance to make it 2-0 when Tammy Abraham hit the post. If that one had gone in I think we would have gone on to win comfortably.
“In the second half I thought we were better with the ball than we were in the first, without really causing them too many problems, and the injuries to Tammy and Albert (Adomah) certainly hampered us a bit.
“They scored from a corner just after Tammy had gone off and there’s a good chance he would have been there to head it away.
“For the second goal we should have defended better, either stopping the ball from coming in or dealing with it when it did come in.
“It’s frustrating but the game is done with now and with have got to pick ourselves up for another televised game against QPR on Friday night.”