Fantastic fans deserve more wins

Chris Lakey Glenn Roeder says Norwich City's fans have become the team's 12th man - and has promised more wins between now and the end of the season for them to savour.

Chris Lakey

Glenn Roeder says Norwich City's fans have become the team's 12th man - and has promised more wins between now and the end of the season for them to savour.

Another 25,000-plus crowd packed into Carrow Road last night but had to be content with a hard-earned 1-1 draw against Hull City which put a minor dent in City's play-off aspirations.

But Roeder was full of praise for the part the fans have played in the revival which saw them extend their unbeaten run to 13 since defeat at Stoke on December 1

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"It was fantastic - it's just a shame we couldn't give them the win they wanted, but I am sure between now and the end of the season we will give them quite a few more wins," he said.

The draw didn't help City's play-off chances: they remain in 13th place in the Championship race, although they have now slipped to six points off the final play-off spot.

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The occupants of that treasured place are bitter East Anglian rivals Ipswich Town, who were 1-0 winners at Crystal Palace, whose own resurgence has taken a turn for the worse recently.

Play-off fever has gripped the city on the back of their recent run of form - and Roeder believes the fans have played a significant role in the revival.

"They have been an important factor in helping us get us out of this crater," he said. "They have been our 12th man at times and tonight I thought they were fantastic. I am just disappointed as are the players that we couldn't give them the win they wanted.

"But 13 games unbeaten - we are on to the next one and please God it will be 14 by the time we leave Leicester on Saturday night."

Veteran striker Dion Dublin helped City maintain that run last night, although Roeder was drooling over Hull's own golden oldie, Jay-Jay Okocha at the final whistle.

Dublin put City ahead with a 15th-minute header, but their hopes of making it four wins on the bounce were ended by Frazier Campbell's strike eight minutes after the break

But it was the contribution of 34-year-old Okocha that left Roeder singing his praises.

"Okocha's pass was supremely weighted," said Roeder. "I can't remember the last time I wanted to shake an opposing player's hand, but I went down the tunnel for Okocha.

"I saw him in France 98 when he was a young player and he's a stunning player. There are not many people that you would make me pay money to go and watch but I'd pay to watch Okocha."

Aside from Okocha's pass there was little for Roeder to enjoy in his analysis of Hull's equaliser, which saw Campbell's hold off the attentions of Ryan Bertrand and Gary Doherty to score.

"Our two defenders should have done better and they didn't - it wasn't even a good shot and the ball unfortunately slid under David's (Marshall) body.

"But he made a world class save later which helped us secure a point - but again their keeper had to make some good saves also."

It was a save that Hull manager Phil Brown believes denied his team all three points.

"We came here to win the game and only a little bit of class goalkeeping stopped us from getting," he said. "I thought it was an unbelievable save, probably one of the best saves of the season. I was expecting to see it nestling in the back of the net.

"But to come away from Norwich, who are probably the form team over a long period of time in the Championship, with a point is fantastic."

"We are disappointed, we can play better," added Roeder. "But it was the right result. We didn't deserve to lose the game but I can put my hand on my heart and honestly say we didn't deserve to win it either.

"Sometimes you have to settle for a point and tonight is the case that a point is a fair result, I don't think either team deserved to take three points."

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