Real sea change in City’s fortunes

The Man In The Stands FIRST and foremost The Man must say one thing: well done the players. Irrespective of how we got on at Stoke today, to get six points from the Coventry and Blackpool games was a sensational effort.

The Man In The Stands

FIRST and foremost The Man must say one thing: well done the players.

Irrespective of how we got on at Stoke today, to get six points from the Coventry and Blackpool games was a sensational effort.

Yes, yes, we should be beating those teams; but the context of the two matches made them very difficult.


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Coventry was a must-win.

In fact, it was the very definition of must-win.

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If we lost we were down, it would have been a defeat too far.

The players knew that, yet despite such pressure they were able to put in a thoroughly professional performance and win the game.

The Man has not been that nervous during a match for many years, so to come through it in the manner we did was outstanding.

And then to Blackpool...

For the first time in a long time The Man left an opposition's ground thoroughly proud of the team he supports.

To see the fans' passion reflected in the commitment of the players was genuinely stirring.

Earlier in the season I accused these players of not caring enough, well the evidence from Bloomfield Road was 100 per cent the opposite.

Such bloody-minded desire was best summed up by Jason Shackell's reaction to Marshall's monumental penalty save.

He nearly combusted with delight, roaring to the skies as if he was auditioning for a part in Gladiator Two.

Being captain during this traumatic time will have taken its toll on Shacks, and you sensed as he fervently punched the night sky that he is now switched on to the fight ahead.

And that's the difference; warriors are emerging now, and they smell blood. Taylor, Shackell, Marshall, Dion, Rusty, Semmy - they have finally got the taste for a battle - and with that we have got a chance.

Two sets of quotes jumped out at The Man this week, to reinforce this feeling of a war footing now being in place.

The first was Roeder after the Cov game, he said: “He (Fotheringam) was first back into the dressing room after the game and he nearly had tears in his eyes through the emotion of winning a game for Norwich City.

“And that's the type of people that we want.”

Absolutely.

The second was from Dion after Blackpool, he said: “We stood toe-to-toe with people, we looked them in the eye and got the better of them.”

Love it.

And the good news for the players is, they are at a club whose fans will also go that extra mile to help them over the line. Last weekend's crowd for the Cov game was the biggest in the division, again.

The teams we are going to be sparring with to stay up - Col Who, Preston, QPR, Blackpool, Scunthorpe - do not have that kind of support.

And crucially, they do not have our vocal backing - the Barclay and Snakepit played a vital role in helping the team in the later stages of last weekend's match.

As fans we have as much responsibility as the players to make sure our attitude is right.

Criticism is not an option anymore, booing is banned. As I've said before - it is all hands to the pump.

The road to safety is likely to be an uncomfortable one, but with fans and players on the same page we will give anyone a battle.

As Roeder said this week, we are “a proper football club”.

Let's be proud of what we are, Carrow Road has been an occupied territory for too long, it is time for a liberation.

When Plymouth roll into Norfolk on Tuesday expecting their fourth win in a row against us let's make sure we give them a rude awakening. OTBC.

t GREEN IS A BIT OF AN ODDBALL, NO QUESTION

THE MAN has always considered Robert Green to be a bit of a weird bloke, and his recent antics have done nothing to change my mind.

I'm not talking about his emergence as a 'penalty king' after years of being hopeless at it, but his attitude towards England.

Last month he told the Sunday Mirror that he didn't even watch England's game in Russia, as he preferred to go out with friends for a meal.

He said football was his job, so he didn't like to spend his spare time watching it too.

Yet in last weekend's Sunday Mirror the following headline appeared: 'Found: a footballer who really cares about England!'

It told how the great patriot Greeno had paid out of his own pocket to go and watch England's meaningless friendly in Austria.

He even took up his place in the stands with the great unwashed, the story claimed.

What an oddball!

Still, at least England's failure to reach the finals this summer will give Greeny another chance to go on that back-packing trip he was so desperate to undertake towards the end of his Norwich days...

t BRAZIL NEEDS TO BE DEALT WITH

IT SEEMS debt-dodging is becoming a popular past-time within the Ipswich fraternity.

This week trainer Neville Callaghan told the Racing Post of his fury at Alan Brazil's continuing involvement in the equine sport.

Fatty Brazil, whose racing club collapsed owing Callaghan more than £18,600 in unpaid training fees, has not been banned from horse racing events.

Callaghan raged: “Alan Brazil shouldn't be allowed to go racing. He should be disqualified and dealt with.”

Brazil told the RP that he had ploughed lots of money into the company, but the revenue he was expecting in return never arrived.

He added: “It was as simple as that.”

t MOOD MUSIC - PLAY IT AGAIN, CITY

THE MAN heard a whisper from sources close to the Canaries' matchday DJ that last weekend's airing of The Canaries may not be a one-off.

I understand the nostalgic anthem will become a regular pre-match ritual, which is excellent news.

The more of those rousing old tunes the better.

It's yet another step to reclaiming the Carra (sic) atmosphere after the Peter the (Disa)pointer era, and the poisonous departure of Sgt Worthy. Kick it off!

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