Norwich goal hero Nathan Redmond says Middlesbrough "played into our hands"

Norwich City

Monday's 2-0 win in the Championship play-off final saw Norwich "run riot" in the open spaces of Wembley, according to Nathan Redmond.

Two goals in the first half from Cameron Jerome and Nathan Redmond saw Norwich City stroll to a place in the next season's Premier League at the first time of asking, with the pain of relegation last season being replaced 12 months later by the ultimate triumph.

Middlesbrough were lacklustre on the day as the Canaries took a grip of the game from the early stages and were comfortable at the back under little threat from 'Boro's front men, apart from a Jelle Vossen strike that struck the Norwich crossbar. But 21-year-old Redmond was quick to praise his teammates and explain how a midweek trip to Wembley helped inspire a game plan that worked to perfection.

Speaking to the Canaries' official website, Redmond said: "We knew starting well was important, because we didn’t do that at our place. It was a one-off game, so we knew we just had to go out there and do it. The match opened up for myself and Wes (Hoolahan) to drift into pockets, which played into our hands. When we came here (Wembley) during the week we were talking to each other, and said if got the ball down and moved it quickly we could run riot.

"It’s a credit to the boys, because we’ve got players who can pass and move. We were one of the best passers in the league this year, and on a fantastic pitch like that it made it easier for us."

Redmond's 15th-minute strike came just three minutes after Jerome's opener and finished off a flowing move, with Steven Whittaker dissecting the retreating 'Boro defence. It brought the England Under-21 international his sixth goal of the season, three of which have come in the last four games.

The flying winger has ended the season in red hot form and has praised the incredible impact of Alex Neil since his arrival as Norwich's manager in January. Redmond said:  "I just want to learn, and the gaffer has been brilliant with me since he's come in. I'm still young so have time on my side. My goals-to-games ratio and pass completion have gone up recently, so I'm just delighted to be learning.

"Some of the goals I've scored are training ground goals for me. To bring that into this game today was a fantastic feeling, and shows the hard work has paid off."

With Norwich having been able to keep much of the squad together from the last time they graced the Premier League in 2013/14, it will be a summer where Neil will be charged with supplementing that squad with key recruits as they look to consolidate a top-flight place. 

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