United States coach Gregg Berhalter has named a 27-man preliminary squad ahead of the Copa America.

Josh Sargent, the Norwich City forward, has earned a recall to the USA squad for the upcoming friendlies against Brazil and Colombia, and is set to feature for his country for the first time since 2022.

With first-choice right-back Sergino Dest injured, meanwhile, Berhalter has turned to Nashville SC's Shaq Moore in defence.

Christian Pulisic, Tyler Adams, Matt Turner, Weston McKennie and Brendan Aaronson are among the established names to feature.

Former Arsenal forward Folarin Balogun, who opted to represent the USA rather than England, has also made the cut, as has Coventry City's Haji Wright, who has had a strong season in England's second tier.

Berhalter explained Sargent had been called up to give him another option in attack, with Wright seen primarily as a wide option.

"Between their club form and what they've done for the national team in the past, we think it's a talented group of strikers," he said.

Giovanni Reyna, the 21-year-old Borussia Dortmund attacker who has been on loan at Nottingham Forest since January, has also been included, despite a feud between Berhalter and the playmaker's family in the wake of the World Cup.

Antonee Robinson has had another impressive season with Fulham, and has been called up alongside club-mate Tim Ream.

Former Manchester City goalkeeper Zack Steffen was a notable omission, as were MLS stars Jesus Ferreira and Jordan Morris.

"This summer presents an opportunity for us to progress and grow as a team as we continue to build towards the 2026 FIFA World Cup," Berhalter said.

"We have a talented group of players and are excited about the opportunity to compete against some of the best teams in the world."

Berhalter will cut down his squad after the friendlies, with Copa hosts USA taking on Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia in Group C.

Norwich took another tentative step towards the Championship play-offs as they came from behind to pick up a hard-fought point in a 1-1 draw with Bristol City.

The Canaries failed to make it nine straight home wins at Carrow Road but the draw took them level with fifth-placed West Brom and kept them six points clear of the chasing pack with games running out.

The in-form Robins created plenty of chances and deservedly took the lead early in the second half when Haydon Roberts finished off a slick move to score his first goal for the club.

But Norwich showed what they were made of by equalising from their next attack, Borja Sainz tapping the ball home after being set up for the easiest of chances by the Canaries’ top scorer Josh Sargent.

Both sides had their chances in an entertaining first half, with the visitors wasting the best of them after just 13 minutes.

Mark Sykes found himself with a clear run on goal after being fed by Scott Twine but, despite having plenty of time to assess his options, he was well off target as he clipped the ball over the advancing Angus Gunn.

Twine also hit the crossbar with a deflected free-kick as the Robins gave as good as they got, while at the other end Sargent saw an early shot come back off the woodwork after being picked out on the edge of the box by Sainz.

The Canaries almost took the lead in unlikely fashion two minutes after the restart when a low Marcelino Nunez corner ran along the line, with no-one in a yellow shirt able to get a touch.

But it was the visitors who took the lead on 56 minutes after putting together a slick move on the left. It started with Tommy Conway finding the overlapping Cameron Pring in space and ended with Roberts sweeping home in emphatic fashion.

Norwich found the perfect response however, equalising within a couple of minutes as a ball through the middle caught out the Robins’ defence, allowing Sargent to square for Sainz, who managed to stay onside to apply the simplest of finishes.

As the game opened up it took a superb reaction stop from Max O’Leary to keep out a stinging drive from the recently introduced Jon Rowe while Gunn had to be at his best to foil Anis Mehmeti when the ball broke kindly for the Robins’ substitute.

But both defences held firm as the game ended all square, a fair result for both teams.

Norwich boss David Wagner insisted his side were “not ruthless” enough as he saw them blow a two-goal first-half lead to draw 2-2 in the Championship with Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.

Norwich hit the front in the 11th minute when Josh Sargent tapped in at the back post and doubled their lead five minutes later when they were gifted the ball outside the box which allowed Borja Sainz to stroke it into the bottom corner.

Danny Rohl made four substitutions at the break but his Owls side missed further chances before Michael Ihiekwe’s header gave Wednesday the belief before Michael Smith nodded home with five minutes to go to rescue a much-needed point in their relegation battle as they marked their 5,000th league match.

Wagner was frustrated with his side’s inability to kill the game after and put themselves in a commanding position to strengthen their play-off bid.

He told a press conference: “We have done everything super well, we looked sharp in ball possession and out of ball possession but we didn’t kill the game.

“We were not ruthless inside the opponent’s box, we had a lot of clear-cut chances and obviously this at the end of the day has shown why we have not won the game.

“Today we have put the hard work in to collect three points but haven’t done because we could not kill the game. Especially when a team is so direct with set-pieces something can happen.

“We have not made use of our chances, this is what frustrates us and the performance the players have shown on the pitch, the commitment is good.”

The point for Norwich gives them a five-point cushion inside the play-offs but Wagner thinks his side have dropped two points from a good performance.

He added: “I would have liked to have six points (from Ipswich and Sheff Wed) after you have seen the two performances.

“But in football, you don’t always get what you wish, you get what you earn and today we only got one because we weren’t ruthless.

“We have to be more ruthless, this is what hurts. How we played, how we defended was good.”

Wednesday remain in the relegation zone only on goal difference after the draw and Rohl hailed his side’s togetherness to fight back and claim a point.

He said: “We showed again our togetherness. Not many people thought we would come back and take something but we did.

“Second half we played better, the stadium was behind us and created energy and this showed what we need in our situation.

“Today we take the point and now we have to go again Saturday. If we are over the line on the last matchday everyone will take it.

“We keep coming back and today we came back from 2-0 down, today we showed we can do this against a strong Norwich side.

“I’m happy with the point. Not happy with the first half but one key point.”

Leicester missed the chance to go four points clear at the top of the Championship after a 1-0 loss at Millwall.

Ryan Longman’s brilliant top corner finish was the difference for the Lions, who climbed into 17th.

Leicester stayed one point clear at the summit after Leeds moved into second following a goalless draw against Sunderland.

Substitute Milutin Osmajic bagged a quickfire hat-trick as Preston completed an incredible second-half comeback to beat relegation-threatened Huddersfield 4-1.

Josh Koroma handed the Terriers the lead in the 42nd minute, but Preston equalised when Will Keane levelled from the penalty spot.

Osmajic starred from the bench in the final stages, striking twice in three minutes before completing his treble in the second minute of stoppage time to snatch three points and leave Town outside the bottom three on goal difference.

Sheffield Wednesday scored two late goals to salvage a crucial point in their relegation battle after a 2-2 draw against Norwich.

The visitors struck quickly in the opening stages with Josh Sargent putting the Canaries ahead in the 11th minute before Borja Sainz doubled the advantage five minutes later.

However, Wednesday turned the game around in the final 15 minutes with Michael Ihiekwe pulling one back before Michael Smith levelled in the 85th minute to leave them alongside Huddersfield.

Fourth-placed Southampton continued their play-off push with a 2-1 win against Coventry.

Haji Wright missed a penalty for the Sky Blues in the 10th minute and Southampton struck just eight minutes later through Kyle Walker-Peters.

Che Adams doubled the lead just before the break before Jake Bidwell pulled one back for Coventry, who remain just outside the play-off places.

Plymouth earned a valuable point after drawing 1-1 with QPR.

Sam Field put the visitors ahead from a corner, but Argyle are two points above the drop zone as Albert Adomah turned the ball into his own net.

Sheffield Wednesday battled back from two goals down to snatch a 2-2 draw with Norwich and strengthen their Sky Bet Championship survival bid.

Wednesday handed Norwich the initiative straight away and the visitors established a two-goal lead early on through Josh Sargent and Borja Sainz but the home side had James Beadle to thank for keeping the deficit at two heading into the break.

Wednesday looked more confident in the second period and Norwich were made to pay for their flurry of missed chances in the second half as two headers from Michael Ihiekwe and Michael Smith rescued an unlikely point.

Norwich were almost gifted the opening goal of the game when Marcelino Nunez latched onto to some sloppy possession at the back and took a shot but Beadle did well to parry the ball out to Ashley Barnes, who blasted wide on the rebound.

Wednesday had the warning a couple of moments ago but Norwich scored the first in the 10th minute as Sam McCallum’s throw-in was flicked on by Barnes and Sargent tapped in at the back post.

The Canaries were all over the hosts and almost doubled their lead straight away as Sainz ran through on goal and unleashed a low drive into the corner but Beadle was on hand to tip behind again.

Wednesday were making the same mistakes at the back and Norwich did not let them off the hook this time – as the home side tried to play out of the back, Nunez was gifted the ball and he fed through Sainz, who stroked home to make it 2-0.

Creators of their downfall yet again, Wednesday nearly handed Norwich a third as Sainz teed up Nunez, who sliced just wide of the post.

The Owls were lucky to be trailing by two at the break as McCallum sprung down the left and whipped a ball in, Nunez smashed over the crossbar to keep Wednesday alive, just.

The hosts made four substitutions at the break and started the second period with a little more life but the Canaries seemed keen for a third though, Jack Stacey raced beyond the back line who were expecting an offside flag that never went up, but Beadle denied Stacey to keep them in the contest.

Another couple of chances came and went for Norwich after Sainz was brought down outside the box, Nunez’s resulting free-kick was palmed away by Beadle and Gabriel Sara scuffed an effort wide a couple of moments later.

Wednesday’s best chance of the match came after Callum Paterson chased down a long ball and found himself one-on-one but could not guide his effort past Angus Gunn.

The visitors failed to put Wednesday away and they had their route back into the match after Ihiekwe nodded home from Will Vauks’ corner.

Wednesday piled on the pressure in search of an equaliser no one saw coming and they had one from yet another corner, this time Vaulks picked out Smith at the back post, who headed in to leave them in the relegation zone on goal difference.

Norwich head coach David Wagner heaped praise on his side’s supporters after watching his side beat Ipswich 1-0 to boost their play-off bid – and dent their neighbours’ chances of automatic promotion.

Wagner and his players felt the wrath of the fans during a poor run earlier in the season but Carrow Road was rocking in the lunchtime kick-off as the Canaries reeled off an eighth straight home win thanks to a first-half strike from Marcelino Nunez.

“The atmosphere in the ground was fantastic, the best since I have seen here, and you could see the affect it had on the players,” said Wagner.

“The fans were outstanding – and so were my team. It was a top performance and the only complaint I could make was that we should have put it to bed earlier.

“Every player put in a good shift to get the win – and to keep a clean sheet against a side who scored many goals was very pleasing.

“From where we were earlier in the season, 17th in the table, to where we are now speaks volumes about the spirit and togetherness in the squad.

“They are a group who can achieve something special, especially with the sort of backing we got today.

“But while we will all enjoy this we know there is another big game coming up on Tuesday (at Sheffield Wednesday) and that will be our focus from tomorrow.”

A game of few clear-cut chances was settled by a long range free-kick from Nunez six minutes before the break.

Sam Morsy brought down the lively Josh Sargent in a central position some 30 yards out to set up what looked like nothing more than a half chance. But the Chilean midfielder had other ideas and curled the ball around a token wall and into the back of the net via an upright.

Norwich missed a number of chances to stretch their lead on the break in the second half while Ipswich struggled to create all afternoon.

Conor Chaplin and substitute Ali Al-Hamadi both missed late second-half chances but Norwich keeper Angus Gunn was largely untroubled.

Town manager Kieran McKenna admitted his side were below their best as their long run without an East Anglian derby win continued.

“We weren’t at the level required to win the game and I don’t think Norwich were at their best either. But, to be fair to them, they found a way to win the game,” he said.

“I would certainly have liked to have seen us create more chances and be better on the ball but it was our third game in a busy week and it doesn’t always go the way you want it to.

“I know how much this one means to the supporters and all I can say is lessons were learned and we’ll be stronger for the experience. We have now got two home games coming up which is good.

“I thought we looked comfortable early on and there wasn’t much in the game and then Norwich had a spell of 20 minutes when they got a lot of free-kicks and scored from one of them.

“The decision for the challenge by Morsy looked a marginal one but the decision that annoyed me was the free-kick for (Axel) Tuanzebe’s challenge on Sargent which started it all off. That wasn’t a foul, not even marginal, and it changed the complexion of the game.”

Ipswich suffered a serious blow to their hopes of automatic promotion from the Championship when they slid to a 1-0 defeat at local rivals Norwich.

A tense game of few clear-cut chances was settled by 39th free-kick from Marcelino Nunez, who fired home low and hard from over 30 yards.

The win left a below-par Ipswich side hoping for slip-ups from rivals Leicester and Leeds later in the day, while for Norwich it further cemented their place in the top six.

It also maintained their overwhelming supremacy in this fixture in recent times, with Ipswich having failed to clinch an East Anglian derby win since a 3-2 victory at Portman Road way back in 2009.

After a predictably tight start the home side began to take the initiative, winning a series of free-kicks deep in Ipswich territory.

And they made the fourth of them count, with Nunez edging his side in front six minutes before the break after Sam Morsy had shoved Josh Sargent to the ground some 30 yards out in a central position.

A goal looked a long shot, quite literally, but the Chilean comfortably beat Town’s two-man wall with a low curler which eluded Vaclav Hladky’s desperate dive to the left and went in off the post.

Ten minutes earlier Sargent had been brought down by Axel Tuanzebe in a seemingly more dangerous position, after being put in by a delightful Ashley Barnes through ball, but on this occasion Gabriel Sara’s free-kick came to nothing.

Overall the Canaries had the better of a tight opening period, with Ipswich looking nothing like a side challenging for automatc promotion. Their only effort on or off target was Massimo Luongo’s header from a corner which sailed harmlessly over.

Sam McCallum’s long ball from the back almost caught the visitors out in the early stages of the second half, with Borja Sainz’s lob only narrowly off target.

Sargent then went down on the edge of the box under a last-ditch challenge from Morsy, only for referee Matthew Donohue to infuriate the home fans by waving play on.

As the game entered its final quarter Sargent burst through again and cut the ball back for Sainz, only for the Spaniard to guide a first time effort high and wide.

Ipswich were struggling to make any impact in the final third, although Conor Chaplin finally produced an effort worthy of the name on 70 minutes, firing just over after being picked out by Leif Davis’ cross.

Substitute Ali Al-Hamadi was then thwarted by Angus Gunn’s quick reaction as he chased a long ball but Norwich defended well to see out a well deserved derby win.

Norwich manager David Wagner felt his team were hitting consistent form at the perfect time as they continued their push for a Championship play-off spot with a comfortable 3-0 win away at relegation-threatened Stoke.

Josh Sargent, Gabriel Sara and Ashley Barnes all got their names on the scoresheet as the Canaries made it six wins from their last nine matches.

Victory keeps the Canaries in sixth place – the fourth and final play-off spot – but they are now three points clear of seventh-placed Hull having played a game more.

“One thing is the numbers (the scoreline), but the other thing is the performance,” Wagner said. “I think it was another very, very good performance away from home.

“The guys looked super sharp, super solid defensively, super aggressive and, with the ball, they played some wonderful football, scored great goals and had chances for more.

“They have a lot of confidence at the moment. They’re brave on the ball as well – everybody knows what he has to do and likes to do.

“Obviously, this is why I’m absolutely delighted with what I’ve seen and the shift which the players put in.”

The win comes on the back of a 5-0 home victory over Rotherham last weekend and also ends a run of four league away games without picking up all three points.

“To be fair, I think that we’re able to score (plenty of) goals. We’ve known this more or less from the beginning of the season,” Wagner added.

“But to consistently do it and to do it away from home as well, is always important at this stage of the season.

“Every win – home or away – is super, super important and the players are in good form.

“They do enjoy playing football together. They do enjoy fighting together for every inch, and trying to keep the ball out of the net. And this is exactly what they do now consistently, home or away.

“Obviously, away, there haven’t been so many wins like at home, but performance wise, I think consistently now in recent weeks or months I can say they’ve done it on a very consistent and high level.”

Defeat for Stoke, who had come into the match in confident mood on the back of two wins from their last three games, leaves them just two points clear of the relegation zone.

Manager Steven Schumacher was bitterly disappointed with his team’s display.

“At the end of the day, we lost the game because they were better than us and we weren’t good enough in too many areas of the game,” he said.

“We didn’t do what we have been doing well in the last couple of games.

“I felt we were a little bit too passive – it took us 78 minutes to make a tackle, which is not going to get you any results against a team as good as Norwich.

“We weren’t close enough, we weren’t aggressive enough and when we did have the ball, we gave it back to them a bit too cheaply as well.”

Schumacher was particularly concerned about his side’s response to going behind.

“Once we’ve conceded the first goal, we just don’t see any sort of reaction from the lads,” he added. “It’s like we freeze and everybody goes in their shell – that can’t happen.

“Even if you go a goal down you’ve got to respond and try and do something about it.”

Norwich continued their Championship play-off push with a comfortable 3-0 victory away at relegation-threatened Stoke.

Josh Sargent, Gabriel Sara and Ashley Barnes all got their names on the scoresheet as David Wagner’s side made it six wins from their last nine matches.

Victory keeps the Canaries in sixth place – the fourth and final play-off spot – but they are now three points clear of seventh-placed Hull, having played a game more.

Defeat for Stoke, meanwhile, leaves them two just points clear of the drop zone and still firmly among the candidates for relegation.

Norwich – unchanged from the team that started the 5-0 win over Rotherham last time out – came flying out of the traps, with Borja Sainz’s half-volley forcing a good save out of Daniel Iversen in the opening minute.

Stoke responded well though and nearly took the lead when right-wingback Ki-Jana Hoever went on a long mazy run before unleashing a close-range shot that was diverted against the post by goalkeeper Angus Gunn.

The missed opportunity came back to bite the hosts after 24 minutes as Norwich captain Kenny McLean threaded the ball through to Sainz, who held it up before feeding Sargent to score into an empty net for his 13th goal of the season.

Sargent turned provider for Sainz moments later as the visitors’ confidence grew, hanging up a cross for a volley that was well stopped by Iversen.

And the Canaries doubled their advantage just before the half-hour mark, with Sainz finding Sara, who guided the ball into the corner of the net from outside the box.

Potters skipper Josh Laurent had a great chance to halve the deficit five minutes later, but he could only head the ball over the crossbar from Lewis Baker’s corner.

Stoke continued to battle for a way back into the contest as the second half got underway, with Tyrese Campbell heading over after meeting Baker’s delivery.

But the game was effectively put to bed on the hour mark as Barnes slotted home a rebound after McLean’s effort in the box was deflected into his path.

Iversen denied Sara from distance in the 72nd minute and Sargent from up close shortly after to prevent Norwich adding further gloss to the scoreline.

Stoke came close to bagging a late consolation on a couple of occasions but it was an extremely disappointing day for Steven Schumacher’s team, who had come into the match in confident mood on the back of two wins from their last three games.

Some of the home fans were leaving with 10 minutes left to play and it is bound to be a nervy end to the campaign for them, with eight matches remaining.

Norwich head coach David Wagner praised the attitude of his side after they hammered bottom club Rotherham 5-0 to move back into the Championship play-off zone.

The Canaries were professionalism personified as they ruthlessly dismantled a side who arrived at Carrow Road with eight successive defeats behind them.

“It was a top-class performance, a fantastic afternoon,” said Wagner. “In every game you play you need the players to show passion, hunger and desire and we saw all those things from them today.

“It was a game people were expecting us to win but you have to prepare properly whoever you are playing. We did that and then, from the very first minute, the players were focused, they were really on it.

“We scored some really good goals and defended well to keep a clean sheet. The players deserve all the credit they get after that.”

He added: “I would rather be in the top six than not with nine games to go, but at the moment it is not important.

“From now on I want us to be super ambitious, but very humble, talk less and work more. Because the only thing that matters is where we are after 46 games.”

Norwich wrapped up the points in the first half, scoring four goals as they ruthlessly emphasised the gulf in class between the two sides.

They went ahead after 13 minutes as some poor defending allowed Jack Stacey to get in a cross from the right for an unmarked Gabriel Sara to head home.

Jacob Sorensen nodded in a Sara corner to make it 2-0 after 21 minutes and it was three just past the half-hour mark as Borja Sainz collected a loose ball in midfield and ran unchallenged before lashing the ball home from just outside the box.

Josh Sargent made it 12 for the season on the cusp of half-time, sweeping home Stacey’s low cross at the back post, and Sara completed the rout two minutes after the break, brilliantly volleying into the top corner after Sargent’s effort had been saved by Viktor Johansson.

Norwich took their foot off the gas after that but Rotherham still failed to muster an effort worthy of the name as they slumped to a ninth straight defeat, and their second 5-0 reverse in the space of five days.

“It was a poor performance, a poor result and a poor reaction to the defeat in midweek,” admitted Millers manager Leam Richardson, whose side are 20 points adrift of safety.

“There is a way we want to finish the season, and it is certainly not like this. There were two ‘worldie’ goals in there I suppose, but there was also some bad defending – the first one was just basic stuff which we didn’t get right.

“I picked the side and I take full responsibility. It has been a horrible week for the staff and the players but the people I feel really sick for are the fans who have come all the way to Coventry and Norwich to support us.

“We just need to start picking up some points again. There is a very flat feeling at club at the moment but there are still nine games to go for us to do something about that.”

Norwich got their Championship play-off bid well and truly back on track after a midweek defeat as they hammered bottom side Rotherham 5-0 at Carrow Road.

The Canaries bounced back from a 3-1 reverse at Middlesbrough in the perfect fashion by recording their biggest win of the season, with four of the goals coming in a one-sided first half.

Gabriel Sara led the way with a brace to reach double figures for the campaign while Jacob Sorensen, Borja Sainz and the prolific Josh Sargent were also on target.

For Rotherham it was a ninth straight defeat, and their second 5-0 reverse in a row, and there is now every chance their seemingly inevitable relegation will be confirmed before the end of the month.

Norwich had the game won by half-time, with a mixture of slick attacking play and some abysmal defending from the visitors contributing to the scoreline.

The stage was set as early as the 13th minute when Jack Stacey crossed for an unmarked Sara to head home the simplest of openers.

Rotherham defender Cameron Humphreys contributed to the goal with a weak attempt to stop the ball coming in, and the Millers were all at sea again after 21 minutes as the Norwich made it two.

This time a Sara corner from the right was guided home by the Sorensen for his first goal of an injury-hit campaign, with no visiting defenders near him.

Norwich’s third just past the half-hour mark came from a superb run and strike from Sainz, who won an appeal against a midweek red card on Friday – but again Rotherham failed to put in a tackle or block.

Top scorer Sargent twice went close to increasing the lead before getting his goal on the stroke of half-time, converting at the back post after being picked out by a fast-breaking Stacey.

The outclassed visitors failed to muster an effort of any kind in an embarrassingly one-sided opening period and they found themselves further behind two minutes after the break.

Keeper Viktor Johansson did well to keep out a powerful drive from Sargent but the ball spun out towards Sara who conjured up a brilliant acrobatic volley into the top corner to make it 5-0.

David Wagner’s side tended to take their foot off the pedal slightly after that, with Millers’ substitute Jordan Hugill finally registering his side’s first effort of note with a header which sailed well over.

The hosts had several opportunities to stretch their lead in the closing stages but had to settle for a nap hand.

What the papers say

Brentford are reportedly keeping tabs on Norwich’s in-form American striker Josh Sargent. The Sun says the Bees view the 24-year-old, who has scored 11 goals in 17 matches this season, as an ideal replacement for Ivan Toney, who is expected to be sold in the summer.

Miguel Gutierrez is on the radar of Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag, according to The Sun. Citing a report from Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo, the paper says the 22-year-old defender is a high priority transfer target for the United boss, though Gutierrez’s former club are thought to Real Madrid retain 50 per cent of his rights and a buy-back clause and could prove a substantial roadblock for the Red Devils.

And the Daily Mirror reports Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United all had scouts in attendance to watch Sporting Lisbon striker Viktor Gyokeres net his 31st goal of the season against Benfica last week.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Andy Robertson: Football Insider says Liverpool are set to open contract talks with the defender, who has been linked with Bayern Munich in recent days.

Francesco Camarda: Gazzetta dello Sport, via Football Italia, reports Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund are monitoring the 15-year-old AC Milan forward.

Norwich head coach David Wagner singled out Kenny McLean for praise after watching his side continue their Championship play-off bid with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Sunderland at Carrow Road.

Josh Sargent’s late goal earned the Canaries a narrow win and while Wagner was delighted with the American’s display, he felt it was McLean’s contribution that should be highlighted.

He said: “When Kenny woke up on Thursday he was struggling to walk and he was not able to train on Thursday or Friday.

“He had stiffness in the back and full credit to him and our medical staff that he was able to play. He is a top, top professional who does everything he can to be successful, a proper Scottish braveheart!

“Josh also turned in top performance, not just with the goal but the way he linked play and worked hard to close them down.”

Wagner added: “We were up against a good, well-organised team and had to work hard to break them down.

“But I thought it was a deserved win, we created a lot of good chances and also defended really well, restricting them to very few box entries. I was very pleased with the performance and now we have to keep it going.”

The game was settled by an 81st-minute goal from Sargent, who scored for the seventh successive home game and took his tally to 11 in an injury-hit campaign overall.

The USA international shrugged off the attentions of two Sunderland defenders when a Ben Gibson cross came over and when they ball bounced kindly for him swivelled and fired home from close range.

It was a deserved goal for the Canaries who had carved out the better chances.

Visiting substitute Abdoullah Ba hit the woodwork just before the Norwich winner but the hosts were on the front foot for most of the game and goalkeeper Anthony Patterson made a number of good saves to keep them out until nine minutes from time.

The defeat left Sunderland nine points adrift of the top six but interim head coach Mike Dodds isn’t giving up on the play-offs just yet.

He said: “I look back to this time last season when I think we were in a very similar position to where we find ourselves now.

“Then we went on an unbelievable run to take it to the final game of the season and there’s no reason why we can’t do that again.

“I look at the players and I don’t see a group that are giving up on it. They are a group who are really close to turning it around and sooner or later I believe the tide will turn.

“We have now got two matches coming up against two of the best teams in the league and we are really looking forward to it.”

As for the game itself, he added: “Norwich are a really good side, especially at home, and I thought for long spells we nullified their threat, even though we have to do better with their goal.

“Going forward we got into some good positions but we have a lot better quality in the final third than we showed.

“I have got faith in the players but when we got in their area we were a bit tense and erratic.”

Josh Sargent scored for the seventh successive home game as Norwich maintained their Championship play-off challenge with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Sunderland.

The USA international struck in the 81st minute as the Canaries finally found a way past a stubborn visiting defence to make it five victories on the trot at Carrow Road.

While Norwich can look forward to an exciting end the campaign, it looks like being a different story for the visitors, with a fourth consecutive defeat leaving them nine points adrift of the top six.

After a cagey start Norwich went close to taking the lead on 15 minutes when Sargent’s first-time drive was deflected just wide by Jenson Seelt.

It then took a superb finger-tip save from Anthony Patterson to thwart Borja Sainz after the Spaniard had latched on to a loose ball when a corner was only half cleared.

These were rare moments of alarm for Sunderland, however, with both sides tending to cancel each other out in a tight opening period.

Pierre Ekwah had two long-range efforts for the visitors, one comfortably saved and the other sailing well wide, and those proved to be their only shots of the half.

Norwich started the second period on the front foot, with Jack Stacey’s right-wing cross almost catching Patterson out and coming back off the crossbar.

The keeper then pushed away a Gabriel Sara shot which was heading for the bottom corner before making a good stop to keep out a fizzing low effort from Sainz.

Substitute Abdoullah Ba cut into the box and struck the woodwork from a tight angle in a rare Sunderland raid but it was the hosts who deservedly broke the deadlock with nine minutes left.

The visitors failed to deal with Ben Gibson’s cross from the right and Sargent won the battle for the ball before lashing it home from close range.

Norwich reeled off their fourth straight home win as they cruised past Cardiff 4-1 to maintain their Championship play-off push.

The Canaries recovered from the shock of going behind completely against the run of play to record a dominant victory which followed hard on the heels of a 4-2 triumph over Watford in midweek.

Jamilu Collins fired Cardiff ahead after 19 minutes but the hosts were in front by half-time thanks to two goals in five minutes from Josh Sargent and Gabriel Sara.

Sargent went on to add his 10th of the season after the break, with a fourth from substitute Christian Fassnacht completing a comfortable win against a Cardiff side who have now lost three on the trot to drop away from the play-off battle.

Norwich completely dominated the first half but needed a late double to go in ahead at the break after conceding a sloppy opener.

A goal-line clearance from Nat Phillips to deny Sargent set the tone early on, with the Cardiff goal under almost constant siege as the Canaries turned on the style.

Ethan Horvath made a fine reaction stop to deny Borja Sainz, Ashley Barnes headed over from close range and Sara hit the upright from distance but it was the visitors who opened the scoring.

Rubin Colwill did well to work his way into the area on the right before drilling in a cross that Angus Gunn was unable to gather and Collins was well placed to bundle the ball in at the past post, with Grant Hanley’s attempted block merely diverting the ball into the net.

The one-sided nature of proceedings soon resumed, however, and Norwich were deservedly back on level terms in the 39th minute when Horvath could only palm away Sam McCallum’s rising drive from a tight angle and Sargent was on hand to tuck the loose ball away.

Barnes netted again almost immediately, only to be thwarted by an offside flag.

But the home fans didn’t have to wait long for a second Norwich goal.

On the stroke of half-time, Sara won a free-kick some five yards outside the box and completed the job by curling a delightful effort into the far corner, via a slight deflection off the Cardiff wall.

Norwich gave themselves some breathing space by making it 3-1 nine minutes into the second period.

Sargent got on the end of a Jack Stacey cross from the right only to be foiled by the upright but the American striker acrobatically got to the rebound to reach double figures in an injury-hit season.

Sargent missed a chance for a hat-trick on the hour mark when he shot straight at Horvath when well placed while at the other end Cardiff barely posed a threat.

It was merely a question as to whether Norwich could add to their tally and they duly did so in the 77th minute as two of their substitutes combined.

Sydney van Hooijdonk, who had come on for Sargent, did well to spot the overlapping Fassnacht in the box and the Swiss drilled home for his sixth goal of the campaign.

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