In the end, it's the hope that hurts...

PUBLISHED: 13:51 21 March 2009 | UPDATED: 16:08 10 September 2010

Tim Allman, Capital Canaries

"It's the hope that kills you", said Adrian Chiles as he interviewed a fellow West Brom supporter on Radio Five Live a few years ago. Luckily for my nervous system, all hope was extinguished at Bloomfield Road a couple of weeks ago as City surrendered meekly to a Blackpool side who just wanted it more.

"It's the hope that kills you", said Adrian Chiles as he interviewed a fellow West Brom supporter on Radio Five Live a few years ago. Luckily for my nervous system, all hope was extinguished at Bloomfield Road a couple of weeks ago as City surrendered meekly to a Blackpool side who just wanted it more.

As I trooped out of the ground with my family, who I had persuaded that Blackpool in early March was really quite a decent idea, I wasn't that depressed about City's descent to League One.

I had accepted our fate, and my attentions had already turned to the teams that had congregated at the top of League Two who would provide some local away opposition. Brentford, Wycombe, Gillingham, Dagenham, plus the teams in League One, Millwall, Orient, Southend, Colchester, Northampton, and MK Dons, plus those from the Championship, Southampton and Charlton if they were relegated with City, and suddenly the fixture list did not look so unattractive after all, I consoled myself.

Then right on cue, City had to go and spoil it. As we sat in the Nelson, swigging a few pre-match pints of hooligan juice, we managed to get through nearly two hours of pre-match beer time without once mentioning the "f-word." Football talk was taboo. The only time it was mentioned was at 20 past seven when we drained our half empty glasses and trudged off to Carrow Road.

And as we prepared ourselves for another dispiriting home defeat something happened. Norwich started playing with commitment, passion, organisation and a will to win that we seen at QPR and twice against Wolves. And we played Cardiff off the park. Alan Gow, whose early appearances for Norwich, which could only diplomatically be described as disappointing, suddenly looked the player we were told he might be. Jason Shackell and the Doc looked like a partnership and David Marshall caught everything that was crossed into the box.

Never mind, Cardiff was a one-off, we decided, as we consoled ourselves over our pre-match beers last Saturday in the Nelson. Normal service will be resumed as Norwich labour to a 1-1 draw against lowly Plymouth was the most optimistic lunchtime prediction. Even a steady flow of Stellas did not change our gloomy outlook.

And at 4.50pm, nerves shredded, throats hoarse, and six points better off than we were five days previously it is indeed the hope that has again started to gnaw away at my nerves as we had somehow propelled ourselves up the table to the giddy heights of 20th place.

I unsuccessfully tried to cut myself off from any Norwich news this week, but failed. I thought I'd listen to Arsenal v Hull while I caught up on some work that I hadn't managed to finish at the office but all I recall from the game were reports from Barnsley. I was a nervous wreck every time the commentary switched away from the Emirates to yet another update from Oakwell.

It's just the waiting, anxiety and hoping that I've had my fill of for now. I'm just looking forward to seeing City play next season in whatever division they may be in.

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