Club records within reach as promotion hopes grow at Norwich City
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
One club record has already been broken by Norwich City’s surprise success in the Championship this season – and more are in sight.
The vital 3-1 victory at Leeds last month saw Daniel Farke’s team go 13 league games unbeaten away from home, for the first time in Canaries history.
There are more records within reach for the promotion hopefuls to target though...
With 71 goals from 35 matches, Farke’s team are averaging just over two goals a game, putting them on course to set a new club record for goals scored in a second-tier season.
That is currently held by Alex Neil’s promotion team of 2014-15, who scored 88 goals in their regular season before heading into the play-offs, matching the total scored in the Division Three South campaigns which finished in 1930, 1933 and 1934.
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Paul Lambert’s promotion winners managed one more in League One in 2009-10, with 89 equalling the Division Three campaign of 1958-59 and Division Three South season of 1951-52.
The next campaign set the overall club record though, when a huge 99 goals were scored during the 46 matches of 1952-53.
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With 69 points already racked up with 11 games to go, the Canaries might just about be able to hit the heights of Nigel Worthington’s title winners of 2004, who topped the second tier with a huge 94 points.
Averaging just under two points per game so far this season leaves the current Canaries on course to break 90 points, just, which would beat the 84 of Lambert’s team in 2011 and the 86 achieved for third place in the Championship under Neil four years ago.
The only season to bring in more points – since three for a win was introduced in 1981 – was the League One title success of 2009-10, when Lambert’s side picked up 95 from 46 games.
The 2004 winners matches the club record of 18 home wins in a season but City cannot match that, with 11 wins from 17 so far and six Carrow Road matches remaining – although winning all six would equal the 17 managed by the 2010 League One winners.
But a huge 37 goals so far leaves Farke’s fledglings on target to exceed 50 on their own turf, putting them in sight of the record in the second tier of 55.
Oddly, that was set during the disappointing 2016-17 campaign, seen out with Alan Irvine in charge following Neil’s exit in the March of that campaign – when a 7-1 thrashing of Reading provided some respite from an impending mid-table finish.
The play-off winners of 2015 managed 50 Carrow Road goals, while the title winners of 1986 scored 51 and the team of 1962-63 notched 53, both in seasons with two fewer home games.
The overall club record stands at 56, achieved during Division Three South campaigns in 1952-53 and 1955-56, both of which did feature 23 home games.
AWAY DAY JOYS
Winning 3-1 at Millwall on Saturday secured a ninth away victory of the season for Farke’s title contenders, leaving them just one short of the 10 managed by the champions of 2004 and the promotion winners of 2011.
The League One title winners of 2010 managed 12 on their travels but City will need to pull off the unlikely feat of winning all five of their remaining away games if they are to better the superb 13 achieved in 2014-15.
Teemu Pukki’s name will enter the record books in a prominent position at the end of this season – it’s just a matter of where now.
With a superb 24 goals to his name already, with 11 games left, he is already into the all-time top 10 for league goals scored in a season, tied with Jack Vinall (1935-36) and Grant Holt (2009-10)
The brilliant 25 managed by Chris Sutton in the top flight in 1993-94, as well as Tommy Hunt in Division Three South in 1929-30, are next in his sights.
Just two more will equal the second-tier record of 26 managed by Terry Allcock and Ron Davies in the 1960s, but he’ll have to keep his foot on the accelerator to reach the 29 of Percy Varco (1927-28) or 31 of Ralph Hunt (1955-56), both in Division Three South.
The Finn has 25 in all competitions, so Allcock’s 1962-63 record of 37 looks to be safe.
GOLDEN BOOT WINNERS
Another for Pukki to target is finishing as the Championship’s top scorer, currently two clear of Sheffield United’s Billy Sharp, as only two Norwich players have managed that feat previously.
Ted MacDougall top-scored in the top flight with 23 in 1975-76 and Kevin Drinkell took the prize in the second tier with 22.
• Thanks to Roger Smith’s excellent book, The Canary Companion, for many of the records cited in this article.