Melissa Rudd

Not since Premier League relegation loomed have City fans had a reason to care much about other teams’ results.

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When the fixture list is released in June there are certain games you pray don’t fall on important dates.

There seems to have been genuine surprise when Norwich’s thumping 4-0 win at Hillsborough sent them top of the league on Saturday evening.

I was devastated. When Paul Lambert emerged as the white-hot favourite to replace the departing Paul Hurst a week ago, I found myself having to explain to colleagues why I felt so upset.

There is one word that every football fan dreads seeing in a headline about their club during the international break. Especially when it precedes the name of your team’s top scorer.

Timm Klose’s unfortunate attempt at a sliding clearance to gift Stoke their winning goal on Saturday may have been a literal slice of bad fortune, but for once City have luck on their side in the timing of this international break.

If you’d asked Norwich City fans their biggest concern ahead of this campaign, most would probably have cited a potential lack of goals.

There would have been a cruel irony if Russell Martin’s departure last week had preceded a first derby loss since before he joined the club.

While there is little doubt that table-toppers Leeds would cause most Championship teams problems playing how they did on Saturday, their comfortable win at Carrow Road highlighted more worrying wider issues for City.

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