Former Town hero is backing Norwich City
Norwich City’s big match temperament will stand them in good stead over the final week of the Championship season.
That’s the view of Late Kick Off host and former Ipswich Town captain Matt Holland, who has seen plenty of the Canaries this season in his BBC role.
Writing his Championship blog on the Football League website, Holland said Cardiff could put the heat back on Norwich by beating Middlesbrough and regaining second place before their promotion rivals kick-off against Portsmouth at Fratton Park.
But he believes the Canaries can cope with the added pressure.
“I do think it’s to Cardiff’s advantage that they face Middlesbrough at home a few hours before Paul Lambert’s men visit Portsmouth on Monday as I expect them to be two points up by that stage,” said Holland.
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“Psychologically it will put Norwich under pressure. That said, Norwich don’t seem to get nervous. Every time I’ve seen them they have looked relaxed. It’s as if they don’t realise how close they are to the top flight.
“Many people, myself included, wondered if their defeat to Swansea City would burst their bubble but it’s barely knocked them off course at all. I’m seriously impressed with their temperament.”
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City’s habit of scoring late goals has also impressed Holland. He said: “While I sat on the Final Score sofa on Easter Monday, the promotion picture changed course not once, twice or three times but seemingly every 10 minutes and that’s the way I can see matters continuing to pan out as we come down to the final 180 minutes of the campaign. The automatic and play-off spots are still totally and utterly unpredictable.
“As I watched Queens Park Rangers fans running on to the Loftus Road turf celebrating their ‘promotion’ I couldn’t help feeling that Norwich City might intervene and so it proved with Simeon Jackson’s injury-time winner against Derby County. I could just see it happening.
“That’s 12 times now that the Canaries have scored after the 90th minute, which is double what anyone else has managed. They really do fight until the last kick at Carrow Road.”