Make no mistake about it, Norwich’s main aim this season is to make sure they survive in the Championship. Hope has been lifted after a select few performances, but the reality is that Glenn Roeder’s team will be lurking in the bottom half of the table for many weeks to come.
So, what needs to be done to ensure we avoid relegation? Well, as my headline suggests, the two key factors are home form and the January transfer window. I’ll start by looking at why it is so crucial that Carrow Road becomes something like the fortress it used to be.
Winning your home games is always important. For any team, in any league, in any position, matches on your own turf are viewed as vital if you are to match your ambitions for the season.
In the next few weeks though, this rule is exaggerated for Norwich City because of the teams that are travelling to Carrow Road. Between now and the end of January, Charlton, Nottingham Forest, Barnsley and Southampton will be the visitors. Two of these teams sit in the bottom three, whilst Norwich in 20th are sandwiched between the other two. Talk about four six pointers on the trot!
At the very least, Roeder’s men need to come out on top in two of these games and make sure they don’t lose more than one. It is a crucial set of home fixtures which could shape the rest of the season. The fall out could be huge if City fail to pick up positive results in these games.
Anyway – the transfer window. This, as ever, will play a significant part in how City are going to perform in the final few months of the season. Can Roeder bring in some players to replace the departing Sibierski and Lita? Can he hold onto Lee Croft?
To be honest, I’m not looking forward to the window. The amount of money we have available is unknown, but isn’t likely to be much unless we sell one of our few valuable assets – Marshall, Croft or Clingan. Overall, I fear that it will be a case of scrambling a couple of last minute loans as we try and put together a squad that can avoid relegation to league one.
Hopefully though, between now and the window we can pick up a few points and start to climb the table. Otherwise, the football odds will be starting to see us as one of the favourites for the drop. That’s if we aren’t already.
By Thomas Rooney – A sports writer who blogs about football betting.