Jack Reeve: It’s the hope that kills you...so can Norwich City make the play-offs?
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In life it’s often the hope that kills and in football it’s no different.
However, it’s often that hope the brings you back to keep on supporting your team no matter the situation at your club.
It’s been an incredibly strange season for Norwich City and I think it’s fair to say that all fans have felt every emotion possible while watching their beloved club this season.
Looking back to the first game of the season I can remember travelling back on the London Underground after the game surrounded by jubilant fans singing the name of Nelson Oliveira and genuine hope that this season could be ours under the new regime. Fans had reason to be excited too, what we were witnessing was the unknown and brand new - it was a refreshing time.
After that we took hammerings at Villa Park and The Den and we were crushed back to reality and fearing the worst for our team.
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Daniel Farke looked out of his depth and there were genuine shouts to revert back to the same option of a proven Championship manager. Already in a few months we’d been taken from one extreme to another and weren’t too sure where to stand.
Then came the shrewd Norwich City, the Norwich City that were grinding out 1-0 away wins for fun and climbing the table and annoying opposition fans in equal measure. After the James Maddison winner at Portman Road there was once again hope that the Canaries could genuinely challenge for a top six position in the league.
MORE: Don’t feel sorry for me, says ex-City starletSince that point however things have calmed down a little. There have been plenty of dull home offerings and a few more sprinkles of away day brilliance but on the whole it seems as if the City faithful have resigned to remaining in the Championship for at least another season. However, there is still some hope of a late charge into the play-offs...
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The postponement on Saturday probably helped Farke’s side a little. We now go into a home clash against Nottingham Forest with Ivo Pinto and Timm Klose back to full fitness and a well-rested core of the squad. These are the types of games that we’ve really struggled with this season and probably the only reservation which is holding fans back from being fully behind the culture that Farke is trying to create.
I would be lying if I said that I haven’t been bored at times with the way we’ve played at home. I’m probably Farke’s biggest fan but the monotonous style of football we’ve seen too often this season needs to be changed.
Farke worked miracles to sort the leaky defence out but now attention needs to be shifted to the offensive positions. The talent is there, but the system in which the talent works in still seems a little way off and needs work.
If City manage to fix that issue even for the short term, then the play-offs is certainly still a realistic expectation. Beat Forest and we’re just seven points away from sixth place. A margin that can be closed in just a few weeks.
This month really is make or break for this season though. Four games in 11 days – all of which are winnable and all of which need to be won to have a chance of challenging.
We know that this side is capable of brilliance, but what we’re yet to see any kind of consistency that would warrant genuine hope of contention. If everything clicks though – we could be in for a treat of a run in.
We all knew that this would take time and City fans have certainly been patient. It would be a lovely end of season gift for City to take it to the next level and put on a late play-off charge.