Looks like there are clear signs of a revival at Carrow Road
PUBLISHED: 12:24 10 February 2017 | UPDATED: 12:24 10 February 2017
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Regardless of the actual weather, Sunday morning dawned brightly for Norwich City fans everywhere, as if a large shadow had been lifted from them. But that’s enough about Jez Moxey.
Of course, a good away win at Cardiff helped, with the Canaries withstanding the sort of second-half onslaught that would have seen them crumble not so long ago, and it was therefore inevitable that expectations were high going into Tuesday’s game at Wigan, a side mired in the relegation zone.
However, nothing is easy in this relentless division and so it proved, as a first half in which City seemed to be in total control was followed by a rally from the home side who took the lead as City’s problems with set-pieces surfaced again, and I think we all feared the worst at that point.
Fortunately, Mitchell Dijks, who even at this early stage looks like being a great signing, had other ideas and so a point was salvaged from a game that should have been won, but equally would have probably been lost a few weeks ago.
I can fully understand people’s frustration as an opportunity to put real pressure on the teams above went begging, but I think we must accept that City are currently an upper mid-table team for a reason, and have no divine right to beat anyone.
Nothing that anyone can do or say now can change that awful sequence of four wins in 15 games and realistically this is not the side of 2014/15, which was full of confidence under a new, dynamic manager, so the likely chances of replicating that squad’s relentless march up the table in the second half of the season are fairly low.
Much of the disappointment at “only” getting a point at Wigan stems from the fact that the players and manager are now under huge pressure to pick up as many points as possible to make up for that terrible run, but it was never going to be the case that City would go from fragile to fearsome in the course of a few short weeks.
The damage done between early October and early January was too major to simply be shrugged off by a couple of decent results and some patience is required from the fans, however difficult that may be for us.
To try to provide some perspective it is worthwhile noting that, prior to the Cardiff trip, City’s previous eight away games had yielded just two points, so four points from two represents a significant upturn, but before City can be considered as viable promotion contenders they not only have to continue to improve away from home but also demonstrate an ability to beat teams in the top six.
There are, without doubt, some encouraging signs at the moment, and that includes issues off the pitch, with the board reassessing strategy in the wake of Moxey’s departure, but I’m not fully convinced that the corner has been turned just yet.
Nevertheless, I feel rather more optimistic than I have since early autumn, and, although I think that the automatic promotion places are now well out of reach, the current improvement in form, and upcoming games against sides above them, give City a realistic chance of a play-off place.
Finally, a quick reminder about the Trust’s AGM next Thursday, which will be followed by a debate entitled “The State of the Canary Nation” which will be led by Chris Goreham, Rob Butler and myself. If you have a view on where the club is and where you would like it to be then please come along and get involved because we really want to hear your constructive thoughts.
The AGM itself starts at 7.15 pm in the Norfolk Lounge at Carrow Road with the debate following at 7.45pm. Both are open to all with free entry, although only members can vote at the AGM.