Fans make a difference

PUBLISHED: 14:23 29 March 2008 | UPDATED: 15:29 10 September 2010

John Wilkinson, NCISA

At the recent NCISA Forum, Glenn Roeder spoke about the magnificent support given to the team by the large band of travelling Canary fans whose vocal efforts can be heard by listeners back in Norfolk on every Radio Norfolk away match commentary.

At the recent NCISA Forum, Glenn Roeder spoke about the magnificent support given to the team by the large band of travelling Canary fans whose vocal efforts can be heard by listeners back in Norfolk on every Radio Norfolk away match commentary.

Roeder went on to discuss that it was hard to explain the fact that teams find it more difficult to win away from home. He asked why this should be so?

He smiled as he pointed out that you still had the same number of players on each side. The pitch is the same size as is the size and shape of the football you played with. He put the problem of winning more games away from home down to psychology.

Amazingly the statistics showing home advantage extends over the one hundred and twenty years and 163,000 games since the football league began in 1888. During that period 2.24 home games have been won for every away win.

To explain these figures surely a supportive home crowd is likely to be a factor.

The home team are encouraged and urged on while the away team may feel intimidated.

Certainly managers talk about trying to contain home teams at the beginning of matches to quieten the home supporters and some crowds have a reputation for getting on the backs of their own players if things are not going their way.

In the early years of the football league a crowd would be almost solely made up of home supporters but travel is now much easier although expensive. There must be other factors at play.

Football pitches may have to abide to certain size regulations but some are longer or wider than others whilst the ground surface may not favour say, the ball being played on the ground due to a rough uneven surface.

Home managers will take account of these factors when developing a style of play. It may be harder for the away team to adjust.

Roeder spoke about the atmosphere within grounds which can be very different and that players have to be prepared for this.

This may explain some of the upsets that happen in the FA Cup when the minnows have an unexpected win.

It is the job of managers, coaches and players to get themselves prepared properly so that they win away as many matches as they win at home.

However as Canary fans we can make a real difference.

We can make the atmosphere at Carrow Road a place of encouragement for our team and uncomfortable and difficult for the visitors.

As Roeder acknowledged, the Canary Away Army demonstrate such a passion every time they travel.

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