Norwich City's turnaround was simply incredible
Richard Balls With Norwich back in the Championship, and within a whisker of returning with the League One trophy in the cabinet, EDP columnist Richard Balls reflects on a season which ended so well, after the worst imaginable beginning:
With Norwich back in the Championship, and within a whisker of returning with the League One trophy in the cabinet, EDP columnist Richard Balls reflects on a season which ended so well, after the worst imaginable beginning:
"Nothing should detract from what has been achieved this season. It's almost been made to look easy and some might see this as an anti-climax - that it was just a matter of time before we were up.
"But it shouldn't be seen as this 'just' being League One and 'of course we should be winning it', because that detracts from the achievement of Paul Lambert and the players.
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"The truth is we have gone up at the first attempt and with a few exceptions, such as Leicester, not many teams manage that. Just look at Leeds, who could be facing a fourth season down there.
"We have done it and after the worst home defeat in the club's history when we lost 7-1 to Colchester in the first game of the season.
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"If you had told me after that, and the results against Exeter and Brentford early on, that we would come back to Charlton, win at The Valley and be up with games to spare, I would not have believed it.
"When we were relegated at Charlton last year the club was a shambles. The squad was a shambles, with guns for hire staying in hotels with no commitment to the cause.
"To have turned it around like they have is incredible and no-one should take away from that.
"It has to be seen as a huge achievement which must not be belittled by any other factors.
"We haven't even spent that much money. Yes, Bryan Gunn brought in Grant Holt, but look at Lambert's signings. He's brought in players we'd never heard of and they have been brilliant. Forster, Russell Martin, Rose, Johnson, McNamee. There isn't a dud among them.
"We are now in a position where other clubs want our manager. That's a good position to be in because it means we are successful.
"Look at some of the other managers we've had in the past few years and, apart from Nigel Worthington at Northern Ireland, how many are still managers? That tells you something.
"Gillingham on Saturday should be a really good day. We have got such a great ground and superb fans. Now let's win the title."