Spud Thornhill: I only have eyes for Norwich City
I’m sure many of the 2,200 Norwich fans travelling to Rotherham this morning will be hoping to get there nice and early to find a pub showing live football, so they can watch the Leeds United v Sheffield United game.
And I’m sure there will be many people hoping for a draw – or a Leeds win.
With us not playing at the same time as our promotion rivals, myself, like many other Canaries I’m sure, will be following them closely, as we have been recently.
Last Saturday I spent lunchtime to teatime watching Soccer Saturday and on Tuesday evening switching back and forwards to the Madejski Stadium and Bramall Lane, to keep up with what Sheffield United and Leeds were doing.
With both of them getting six points, it was affecting my blood pressure. I’m just relieved at least one or both are going to drop points today.
Spud’s teaser: Which player scored for Norwich against Rotherham in the League Cup in September 2006, only to join Rotherham four months later? Answer at bottom.
It appears neither of the Yorkshire clubs is going to go away at all, let alone quietly. I don’t like thinking how I will be willing certain clubs on, especially for the last two games of the season when that lot down the road in Suffolk will be playing Sheffield United and then Leeds. Especially when you know they aren’t going to get anything, just like Reading and Brentford didn’t during the week.
So it appears we will have to be like Daniel Farke and not worry about them. Let’s just concentrate on ourselves, even if City did make us nervous in the final few minutes on Wednesday when it really shouldn’t have been that nerve-wracking.
We all know what we are capable of, especially with how everybody is playing. And the one who is on fire at the moment is Emiliano Buendia Stati. Emi has been amazing and some of the football he has been playing recently has been on a different level. He’s definitely one who’ll be able to handle the step-up, if we make it.
While we are heading to Rotherham on such a high after five wins on the bounce, our hosts will also be on a high after their midweek win at Queens Park Rangers. It was Rotherham’s first away win in the Championship this season and their first in 44 Championship away games, stretching back to April, 2016.
Some people know I have a soft spot for the Millers, they’re are sort of my second team. I know, I can hear people screaming ’What?’ as they read this, but let me explain.
I was a 12-year-old in the summer of 1987, and Norwich had just produced their highest-ever finish, fifth in the old Division One. I read that Rotherham used to be called Thornhill United. Rotherham were just your run of the mill Third Division side and at that point I loved all types of football. I thought Norwich would always be a top-flight side and so they would never play Rotherham. So I thought they could be my second team. Little did I know Rotherham would rise and Norwich would fall and start playing each other regularly.
Some of my friends say to me this is the ’Spud Derby’. I’m sure at some point, someone will ask if I want a draw and, trust me, my reply will be a blunt ‘no’. I don’t care if it affects Rotherham’s survival chances, my priority will be for us to win. Rotherham can win their final eight games.
But this game is going to be as tough as they come. As we know, the main man at Rotherham, Paul Warne, is a Norwich fan, but he will have his team so fired up for the game and will scrapping for everything. Hopefully this may play into our hands and we can turn on the style, like we have in our last two away games, at Bolton and Millwall. If we do win, we will have a minimum of a five-point gap to third place and with just the eight games to go with a nice international break coming up, this would be perfect.
E I E I E I O!
Spud’s teaser answer: Craig Fleming.