by Thomas Rooney
It has been a fantastic week for Norwich City – six points, three goals, two clean sheets and a place outside the relegation zone. It is now three wins from four games and the increasingly fading hope regarding surviving relegation has now become expectation.
Whether this is a good thing though is another matter. Relegation would hurt 100 times more now we have given ourselves a chance of survival. After the Coventry game, many thought we had gone. Myself included.
However, if Bryan Gunn’s quote yesterday is anything to go by it seems that this defeat to Coventry and the subsequent reaction was actually the turning point for the players. For whatever reason, this was then they decided it was time to do something about the rather desperate situation they found themselves in.
Since this game it has been nine points out of twelve, with wins coming at Queens Park Rangers and at Carrow Road against Cardiff City and relegation rivals Plymouth Argyle.
Looking at the table is all the more bearable now. We sit 20th in the Championship, two points above the drop zone. The situation is still fairly desperate, but it isn’t as bad as it was. We are expecting to stay up now. It’s amazing what a couple of wins can do in this league isn’t it?
What has the difference been in the last few games though? Well, the front two have made a huge difference. Alan Gow and David Mooney actually work hard, run all over the show and cause defenders problems. This is something we haven’t had in previous months.
Elsewhere, it seems as though the defence has tightened up as well. The reason could well be the return of Jason Shackell. I wasn’t over the moon when we re-signed him, but fair play to the lad. He is still Norwich through and through and he and the Doc deserve huge credit.
Overall, we now have a team of very hard-working individuals without too many obvious weak links. The defence has been secure; the midfield has two talented wingers with gutsy central midfielders in Russell and Clingan. Then, we have spoken about the front two.
There are even a couple of options on the bench with mid-week hero Cody MacDonald and David Carney. Bryan Gunn has to take credit for putting together a squad that looks capable of getting us out of this mess.
This isn’t to say we will though as there is still a long way to go and two defeats will change everything. The football odds are now expecting us to avoid the drop, but this means nothing.
For me, the next two home games could decide everything. The next two visitors to Carrow Road are Sheffield Wednesday and Watford. If six points are achieved here, then we will be on at least 48 points with three games to go. Then, one win out of Ipswich (a), Reading (h) and Charlton (a) should be enough.
Any points elsewhere will be a bonus. For example, if we manage to grab a win at Birmingham next week, we will be in an unprecedented position. Football betting will almost be suggesting that we are safe.
This isn’t something we should consider though. It is a very old football cliché, but Norwich City should take one game at a time at the moment. Come on boys, let’s stay professional and do the job.