Performance against Stoke proves Norwich City can stay in the Premier League

I feel confident that this squad has the qualities to stay in the Premier League.

I’ve come to this conclusion due to the performance the lads put in against Stoke where, after having Barnett wrongly sent off, they never let their heads drop and put in a spirited shift which deserved more than a draw.

Last time we were in the Premier League we didn’t have a strong enough squad and didn’t prepare for it like we are this season. At that time we released Iwan Roberts and Malky Mackay before the season had even started. Due to this we were lacking leaders in the squad in the two most important areas on the pitch and we also didn’t properly replace them.

We only bought in Simon Charlton to replace Mackay and we bought Gary Doherty on the last day of the transfer window to replace Roberts.

This time we have been promoted the board have been far more productive by recruiting all the players at the earliest opportunity which has enabled the players to practise in pre-season and to find out all their best strengths. They have all been working on many different formations so that on any given time in a game they can quickly change to a new system. This makes it harder for the opposition to know what tactics to play against us and therefore it gives us an advantage before the game has even been kicked off.

When you look at what players we had on the bench against Stoke it shows you the strength in depth this squad now has. These were the same players who were playing on a regular basis last season and who did so well to get us automatically promoted without having to go through the lottery of the play-off final.

I was also pleased to see John Ruddy have an outstanding game which included that brilliant penalty save. Let’s hope that could be a lucky omen because the last time he saved a penalty was against Swansea last season. If he hadn’t have saved that penalty, Swansea would have probably won the game 1-0 instead of us scoring two late goals to win the game. At the end of the season it would have then meant Swansea would have gone up automatically because they would have had more points than us.

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I feel it’s imperative we do our utmost to stay in the Premier League this season because when you look at the teams in the Championship it only looks likely it will become harder and harder to get out of that division. Especially when you see the likes of Ipswich losing 5-2 to Southampton and then 7-1 to Peterborough who were both in League One last year alongside Brighton who beat Cardiff away recently. You also have Leicester who have spent millions and they are struggling to get the results they require.

I want to also say it’s great to see we have Premier League reserve football at Carrow Road because it will give some of the Academy players experience of playing at Carrow Road which will be vital in their education of playing at a bigger stadium.

They started the season in emphatic style by beating Middlesborough 5-0 in the first game of the Academy Premier League.