IT TOOK Adam Idah just 92 seconds to add to the goal that had ended Norwich’s six-game score-less streak in Premier League action last Saturday.
Yet for the frontman from Cork that magic moment had also been three seasons in the making.
For almost all of that time, he had been little more than back up on the bench, his job to come on when Teemu Pukki gets tired. Of his first 50 appearances, 42 had been as substitute.
Now the 20-year-old is playing up front alongside the undroppable Finn, regarded as one of the greatest goalscorers to ply his trade in Norfolk.
And it is working too. Idah’s physical presence has added a new dimension and his debut Premier League goal — a first at Carrow Road too — turned out to be worth three precious points for a side that had lost its last six games.
Norwich are now up to 18th, a point behind Watford, their opponents on Friday, and six shy of Everton, a club in open fan revolt.
College Corinthians export Idah put Norwich 2-0 up in the 18th minute, a minute and a half after Michael Keane had diverted Josh Sargent’s cross into his own goal.
Everton were the architects of their own downfall by surrendering possession cheaply in the Norwich half, which allowed Brandon Williams to hare down the left flank and play in Idah.
The big man’s first touch was not perfect but was still good enough to get goal-side of Vitali Mykolenko and slot past Jordan Pickford.
Carrow Road erupted, joy mixed with shock and relief.
“That run was unbelievable,” Idah said. “Brandon said before the game he was going to give me an assist so we were both buzzing in the changing room.
“I have been waiting a long time for this and to do it at home in front of all these fans especially with the situation we are in right now is some feeling,” Idah said.
I’m just delighted not only to get to goal but to get the win too and hopefully this is the turning point and we can start winning more games.
“It takes the pressure off, with the fans as well, and lifted everyone’s spirits. The fans were behind us and that’s what we needed.
“We are not far behind teams in the league and if we all stay together we can get through this.
“We know ourselves that we haven’t been performing the best that we can but that’s the standard — if we want to play in this league that’s what we need to do.”
Idah, who burst onto the scene with an FA Cup hat-trick at Preston in his third Norwich game in 2020, is hopeful his run in the team will continue.
“It’s been two and a half years now with coming off the bench,” he said.
“It has been difficult at times but every footballer knows that you need to be patient and wait for your opportunity — and when it comes you need to take it. I hope I’m doing that now.
“I love playing with Teemu, he’s a great player to have next to you. It was the first time me, Teemu and Josh had started together and we all did well so hopefully we can keep that up.”