It is fair to say that Norwich have improved in all areas during the last few weeks. In the most recent five fixtures, three victories and a draw have been achieved. The only defeat came against Blackpool at
the beginning of March.
Such form has given us a chance of survival in the Championship. There is still a chance it could all go wrong, but after the Coventry and Blackpool games; it is a chance we didn’t think would come.
Much has been made of the improved threat the likes of David Mooney and Alan Gow have created up front, but what about the four lads at the back? They have been excellent in the last few games and provided Bryan Gunn’s team with a backbone that hasn’t always existed this season.
One man can take a huge chunk of responsibility for this – Ian Butterworth. The former central defender seems to have taken the defenders under his wing and turned their confidence around.
The Jason Shackell – Gary Doherty partnership even looks solid and this hasn’t been the case too often over the last few seasons. Shacks in particular looks like the player we all know he can be and it’s just a shame we might not be able to re-sign him in the summer. Finances are likely to be tight, after all.
The improvement in the two full-backs has been particularly impressive. Jon Otsemobor has had his critics in recent months, but nobody can knock his performances in the last three games.
Then there is Ryan Bertrand who has looked back to the player he was when he first signed on loan. The lad must have been given a confidence boost in training because he seems to be returning to the promising, confident and classy defender he was at times last season.
Overall, the combination of a settled defence, the Butterworth factor and a huge lift in confidence has assisted the current back four in conceding just three goals in the last five games.
Long may it continue!