Fans 'right to call for Worthy sacking'

The Canaries' poor start to 2006 has vindicated Norwich City Independent Supporters Association's call for a change of manager, believes chairman Roy Blower.

The Canaries' poor start to 2006 has vindicated Norwich City Independent Supporters Association's call for a change of manager, believes chairman Roy Blower.

At the start of December, the group issued a statement asking for Nigel Worthington to be replaced, but City confounded their critics and won five matches in a row.

However, the Canaries have yet to win a match this year and Sunday's 2-1 defeat by East Anglian rivals Ipswich Town sparked a protest outside Carrow Road with 150 fans calling for Worthington's head.

The result left the Canaries in 14th place in the Coca-Cola Championship table, 12 points adrift of the play-off places, and 10 points above the relegation zone.

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Blower said: “We don't take any pride in feeling vindicated but we reluctantly made our position clear and I don't think there is anything to add to it.

“We pointed out what problems could occur and they are now occurring. We don't want to see protests but I think the supporters wanting a change are now a stronger voice out there.”

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Blower added: “Some people would say the new players need time to bed in but we think the situation is such that unfortunately the directors have got to face up to reality soon.

“I've been to derbies over a 50-year period and that is one of the poorest derbies I have seen and I think most people would say we were outplayed by a fairly ordinary Ipswich side.

“We won five games in December but to lose four games on the trot at home is totally unacceptable.”

However, the feeling towards Worthington among Capital Canaries members is mixed, with plenty of fans backing him.

Secretary Ian Russell said: “I have always been a Nigel Worthington fan and my gut feeling is that the club will stick with him until the end of the season.

“Consequently I feel we should support the board and stick with them whatever your feelings may be because football is a very emotional game.

“I just feel that longevity is more important than quick fixes all the time and we need to look slightly longer term and review it again at the end of the season.

“Emotions were obviously running high after the Ipswich game but feelings are very divided - I was talking to people yesterday who are very supportive of Worthington but it's becoming more so that people are against him.

“We are not going to go up now, so for the time being we should just support the club and show unity.”

The Northern Canaries supporters' group will meet the board - but not Worthington - on Friday evening, the eve of the Hull match at the KC Stadium, where the current situation will be discussed.

“I am sure our members are looking forward to addressing the board and pointing out our concerns,” said secretary Ben East.

The downturn in the Canaries' fortunes has prompted Norwich businessman Andrew Unwin to start selling Worthy Out merchandise again.

The Alligator Copy Shop, Heigham Street, first put the mugs and T-shirts on sale in December but sales were hit by the Canaries' winning run.

However, recent results have revived interest in the products, and shop owner Unwin said: “We had some inquiries last week so the mugs and T-shirts are for sale again.”

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