Come on Canaries and light my fire again

I am not feeling the way I should given our considerable rise up the table of late, and I've been trying to put my finger on why.

I am not feeling the way I should given our considerable rise up the table of late, and I've been trying to put my finger on why.

Maybe a victory at Portman Road will do wonders, but I think there's something deeper.

Dion Dublin's awesome performance against Sunderland helped me understand.

Ask yourselves how many crowd favourites we have, and how does a player become a favourite?

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Therein lays the reason why, for me, we've struggled.

We need a spine, a spine of players that give what it says on the tin, week in week out.

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Players who play for the team, not for themselves. Players who really understand the game and can influence those around them when faced with a given situation. Players who want to stand up and be counted, who want the ball and can use it rather than hide. Players who make everyone feel a team and not a group of individuals.

It's those players who give the others confidence to do what they do best, and that includes lifting the fans.

Peter Grant has tried to reinstil this, and he has provided evidence of this on the pitch, but he can't move forwards in leaps and bounds without the right players, and we just don't have enough of them.

I don't feel a connection with many of our players - there's no feeling that they want it as much as I do, or evidence that they love this club as much as the fans.

Some once crowd favourites haven't put in good, consistent performance for a long time, and players who used to ignite atmospheres now flicker on occasions.

It's all a bit disappointing and mundane.

It is just all too easy to nod off amongst a series of sideways or backward passes until the transfers - we hope - start rolling in, but our results until the transfer window opens are critical as they will provide the foundations for a genuine promotion push - as long as the board does not link points with prudence.

This season is critical to us, with the massive increase in finance heading to Premiership clubs, and without parachute payments we can head one of two ways - there could be a prolonged stay in this division, with quality players heading away from the club; or there could be a trip into the unknown with the possibilities of another tier on the main stand, and even the long-term chance of European football.

We are at a fork in the road, and from here the two roads will grow ever wider apart.

If Grant can get the kindling lit in the next three games, and really get something going, new players coming in could help us fire into the Premiership. OTBC

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