Iwan Roberts: Crystal Palace chain of events summed up City’s season so far

Connor Wickham scores from close range to rescue a point for Crystal Palace on New Year's Day. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Connor Wickham scores from close range to rescue a point for Crystal Palace on New Year's Day. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

JASONPIX

So it wasn’t the prosperous festive period that we’d all hoped for from a Norwich City perspective with just two points taken from their three games over the Christmas and New Year period, but it could have been so much more if they only could hold on to a lead.

The lads are doing so many good things especially in the first half of games but then for some reason they are shooting themselves in the foot time and time again by making silly mistakes or making poor decisions defensively in the second half which is costing them dearly points wise.

In their last five home games the lads have taken the lead in every game but have come away with just three points which is so disappointing and frustrating for all concerned. If they had held on to those leads in those five games they would be 12 points better off and would find themselves tenth in the league on 26 points and not at the foot of the Premier League table seven points from safety.

They've been robbed of points from some shocking VAR decisions, none more so than Temmu Pukki disallowed goal against Spurs last Saturday. Even Connor Wickham's equaliser on Wednesday night with only a few minutes remaining looked dubious as he looked well offside only for VAR to decide he was being played onside by Christoph Zimmerman's foot.

I think that goal sums up Norwich's season, an ex-Ipswich Town player scoring what looked like an offside goal in the dying minutes of the game his first Premier League goal since November 2016... you just couldn't make it up could you?

It wasn't the start to the New Year we were all looking for, but the lads with 17 games to go have to keep their spirits up and keep believing that they have enough to stay in this league, their luck simply has to turn sooner rather than later and start getting some of these close decisions going for them and not against.

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It's the FA Cup third round this weekend which I'm sure will give Daniel Farke a chance to rest some tired legs after eight games last month which is ridiculous when you think they'd played 13 from August 9 till the end of November. It's madness that the Premier League cram so many games into December when there's so many free weeks in the season.

It's a trip up to Deepdale for Norwich to face Preston and their former manager Alex Neil. Up until a couple of weeks ago Preston were having a terrific season and it was all down to one thing, their home form.

In their first 12 home games they'd taken 29 points and had the best home record in the Championship, but the wheels have come off slightly as they've now lost three of their last five home games and now find themselves ninth in the league, winless in their last four, scoring just the one goal in those four games.

I've played at Deepdale many times and the place has changed dramatically since I first played there for Huddersfield in the early 90s. Back in those days three clubs had plastic pitches - QPR, Luton and Preston - believe you me Preston's was the worse by a country mile.

I don't know if they'd done it on the cheap but you couldn't compare their plastic pitch to the other two and they were shocking to say the least.

It was like playing on concrete, you could have done yourself some serious harm had you fallen badly on that thing. My first time playing there I actually played in tracksuit bottoms with my shorts over them, not the easiest thing to play in as it restricts you movement and speed not that I was blessed with much of either.

The playing surface these days up there is very good so there will be no excuses tomorrow and with a good positive result and a nice cup run it could help turn the club's Premier League fortunes around.

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