Roeder's a faith healer

David Cuffley City chairman Roger Munby today paid tribute to manager Glenn Roeder for restoring supporters' faith in their club.On the day the Canaries announced season ticket price rises of 2.

David Cuffley

City chairman Roger Munby today paid tribute to manager Glenn Roeder for restoring supporters' faith in their club.

On the day the Canaries announced season ticket price rises of 2.8 per cent for 2008-09, Munby said the recovery staged under Roeder over the past two months had given fans much greater confidence about the future, which he felt would be reflected in ticket renewals.

City have taken 22 points from 11 Championship matches since the awful 3-0 defeat at Plymouth that prompted the new boss to start a major overhaul of his squad, and they go into tomorrow's home game against Leicester in 18th place in the table, though still just five points clear of the bottom.


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Said Munby: “One can't take any guarantees out of the present situation. I know, just after Glenn Roeder arrived, he talked about the need for two runs, two bursts - one to get us out of the relegation zone, then a second one to keep us well away from it and try to project ourselves towards mid-table.

“That process has clearly started and that experience has given everybody a lot of confidence and a realisation that the true level of this football club is an awful lot higher than the relegation position that we were once in. I hope that will never reoccur.”

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Munby is confident City will not slip back into trouble and said Roeder was proving an “outstanding” appointment.

He said: “We have a Premiership manager with relevant experience coming into a Championship club. I think it's an outstanding position to be in.”

The Canaries have 19,714 season ticket-holders - the most in the division - and the second highest average home gate, behind Sheffield United. But they may have struggled to maintain that level of support had results failed to improve.

“The last two months have been pretty critical,” said Munby. “What has happened is just what we hoped would turn out when we go back to October, November when the pricing working party re-formed to consider next season's prices.

“The last two months have been critical to the confidence that fans, in terms of thinking about renewal, are going to have.

“It was in that context, with the real spectre of relegation, that one had to cope with how people would think about their investment in both their time and their money in season tickets.

“I spend a lot of time outside the ground and in Carrow Road and at both ends, talking and listening to people, being greeted and being shouted at and having my hand shaken or whatever before matches and sometimes after matches as well and the mood has distinctly changed. I'm getting far more uplifting conversations about who's coming next, what players are we looking at now.”

He rejected the idea that regular full houses had put the club in a comfort zone and led to complacency.

He said: “The quality as well as the quantity of Norwich City support sets a mandate for the football club to respond to. When you've got 24,000 or 25,000 people who want to make a comment of a negative nature it has far greater impact than if there are 11,000 or 12,000 making the same comment. The football club is anything but complacent.”

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