‘They actually need you now’ - Canaries’ boss in plea to ‘incredible’ supporters
Fan power can tip the balance in Norwich City’s Premier League survival scrap, insists sporting director Stuart Webber.
The bottom side were applauded off after a battling 1-0 home defeat to Liverpool at Carrow Road, and a 9,000 strong army will descend on Tottenham for next month's FA Cup fifth round tie.
"We want to give them what they want and we are working so hard to make their dreams come true," said Webber. "We won't give up until it's impossible and if it doesn't work this time we come back and try again.
"We need those supporters massively over these last 12 league games. It is easy to turn up for Ipswich or Liverpool or Manchester City. It's actually when we play West Ham, Southampton at home, Leicester on a Friday night. That's when we really need you. I am not being disrespectful, but players probably don't need fans when things are going well.
"They actually need you now. To take 9,000 to Tottenham is a massive boost. That tells our players and staff how many are behind you, on a Wednesday night when tickets aren't cheap. Incredible. We're so desperate to reward them.
"After every game the players talk about it, the 2,000 or so sat up in the rafters at Newcastle."
Webber can still recall the disconnect between the club and their fans when he arrived.
"When I first came to a game to meet Delia and Michael, against Barnsley, people were laughing when Josh Murphy kicked a shot out for a throw in," he said. "You wouldn't turn up here and think this is a club at the bottom of the Premier League, and it's doom and gloom.
"That connection has taken huge leaps and bounds and taken a lot of work from a lot of people. Supporters enjoy themselves if you're connected to the players and the team. We can't say we're a community club and then close the doors. Otherwise you say you are a global brand and do it a different way.
"You'll always have the minority who don't agree but let's talk about the majority.
"I think the majority can see what we're trying to do. They appreciate that we speak honestly, whether that's Daniel (Farke) in the media when it is an injury situation. We don't try to pull the wool over our supporters' eyes.
"Whether is it the owners attending groups and talking honestly. They have a set of players who work so hard and won't leave anything behind. We try and play a brand of football which entertains and if I turn up and pay money to watch my team, I'd love to see us win. Absolutely.
"But you know what, I want to watch a team trying to play football a certain way. I want to watch a team fight, who show that they've actually got a bit pride in the shirt.
"I think that connection which Daniel and the players have brought with fans on a match day is quite special. And I think gives us a unique strength and bond but it's something that we don't take for granted."