Absent fans take the edge off promotion joy for City keeper

Michael McGovern played his part in Norwich City's Championship promotion 

Michael McGovern played his part in Norwich City's Championship promotion - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City back up keeper Michael McGovern has admitted something is missing from this latest Championship promotion triumph. 

The Northern Ireland international stepped in for the injured Tim Krul during a critical phase of the campaign, losing only two of his 10 appearances. 

McGovern himself was then sidelined and forced to undergo hamstring surgery before returning to fitness for the run in. 

The vastly-experienced joined the muted celebrations in an empty Carrow Road last weekend after promotion was confirmed despite losing to Bournemouth later in the day. 

“It was really strange having no fans in the stadium, after we experienced it two years ago when we got promoted,” he said. “The celebrations after the game when we played Blackburn and got promoted (in 2019), we were out on the pitch for it seemed like hours, all the families and the children and it was a brilliant experience and then the other night, it was just us and we were out on the pitch for about five minutes, it was nothing compared to the last time.

"It’s disappointing that the fans couldn’t get in the stadium and enjoy it with the lads.” 

The 36-year-old is out of contract this summer but poised to sign a new deal at Carrow Road with City heading back to the Premier League. 

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McGovern is now one of the club’s longest-serving players after reuniting with former Norwich boss Alex Neil after his heroics for Northern Ireland at Euro2016. 

“It was a really good achievement for the lads to get over the line with so many games to go,” he said, quoted in the Fermanagh Herald. “It shows you how good the team has performed this season and hopefully we can now go on and win the league, because in my opinion we have been the best team in the league so far and we deserve to be champions, but we still have a little bit more work to do.” 

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