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Michael Bailey

Surprises have been in pretty short supply in recent weeks at Norwich City – and when they have popped up, they’ve tended to be more towards the negative end of the spectrum.

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It’s barely six years since Norwich City versus Southampton was a League One fixture. Through canny Carrow Road appointments and recruitment, plus a hefty points deduction for administration down at St Mary’s, only the first of those two clubs made an immediate return to the second tier.

Apparently the club never got him – but then Millwall is probably like that with a lot of people. Sat in a room for all 25 minutes of his post-Norwich defeat diatribe at The Den last year, I can tell you a lot of people in there were struggling to get him too.

Given events this week, tolerance seems to be going out of fashion at an alarming rate – there is just more damage it can do in the real world, as opposed to the bubble of English football management.

Reality – the blunt instrument that’s left a sizable lump on the head of Norwich City fans since Saturday afternoon’s Championship onslaught down on the south coast.

Whether brought about through circumstance, employee ambition or restructuring, Norwich City’s academy is looking for a new manager – and whoever it is will have things to excite them.

There will be fans who have followed Norwich City their entire life, through thick, thin and thinner – and who won’t have experienced a night like Wednesday at St James’ Park.

A lot has been written about the two young men adding much-needed impetus into Norwich City’s Championship return – and it’s the least they deserve.

Among the many and numerous ‘changes’ that can be pinned on the emergence of football’s transfer windows, the loss of one great tradition irks.

It has always stuck in my mind – a first TV appearance (that I’m aware of) at Portman Road. It came on ITV Anglia’s Derby Day highlights show.

For a sport with such deeply entrenched emotions, reading its psychology can be harder than you imagine.

If you can’t be optimistic in the days before the season starts, then when can you be? It’s a great question – and one that has endured year after year, and despite Norwich City’s horrendous opening day record.

Euro 2016 caught light as a tournament on Wednesday night, just in time for the knockout stages. And it was glorious.

It was supposed to be different this time following those joyous scenes at Wembley last May, but it never really happened for Norwich City. Michael Bailey picks out six lessons from another Premier League relegation.

It was October that Leicester rocked up at Carrow Road. The Foxes sat eighth in the fledgling Premier League, seven games into the campaign – with Norwich City 12th, three points behind and a goal-difference worse off by just two.

This season has been about as unpredictable as they come – but surely for no club more than Crystal Palace.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned during the past four weeks, it’s that there is nothing more useful than adapting to survive – as the saying suggests, if you can’t manage it you’re not going to last long.

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