Spud Thornhill: It’s a marathon effort – and I know just how the City players feel!
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Back in July last year, both Norwich City and myself set ourselves a massive goal. By Sunday afternoon I’m sure we will both have achieved them.
For those who don’t know me well, I am running the London Marathon on Sunday, despite Sky Sports throwing a massive spanner in the preparations by putting our game against Blackburn Rovers to a Saturday evening kick-off. Not ideal.
So while I really should be resting up in a London hotel, I shall be enjoying the start of what hopefully will be a promotion party at Carrow Road.
The only downside is while many of you guys will be celebrating for a while in the ground and through the night, shortly after the game I will be heading to my hotel room in London, waking just a few hours later to run the 26.2 miles.
And after that’s done, I will be raising my glass and finally celebrating our promotion with a few well-deserved beers.
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I have had my own personal marathon, as have the players over the last nine months. Witnessing some of them slump to the ground after the 2-2 draw at Stoke was painful to watch – as we know, they gave their all but at the same time it’s so nice to see the players care so much.
Daniel Farke spotted them and approached many of the players, picked them up and, I’m sure, told them not to be downhearted after putting in a good shift, yet again.
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As some runners will tell you, you can hit a wall running a marathon and for a few miles you struggle before getting your second wind and then finish off the race.
And maybe that’s what’s happening with some of our players, especially after five games in 16 days. So I’m sure that at 7.30pm on Saturday night our players are going to get their second wind and will be ready to get that vital point to make promotion official.
Watching the last two games over the Easter weekend showed how hard this league is. Full respect to Sheffield Wednesday and Stoke City, whose players were definitely not on the beach and made it very difficult for us. We had to work so hard for those points.
One piece of action from last Monday summed up the commitment of our players – Ben Godfrey brilliantly wanting the success of this club so much. Can’t remember exactly when it was, but I know it was pretty near the end of the game. City were pushing for the winner and Godfrey was upfield when Stoke broke away. One moment we had a chance to win the game, the next moment it was Stoke who had the opportunity to do the same. It was heart in my mouth time. Within seconds of being in one penalty box, Godfrey was back in his own box winning the ball.
And it didn’t stop there – Godfrey started another attack to try and get the winner, but it was not meant to be.
When the final whistle went there were quite a few long faces among the supporters. Yes, I’m sure everyone was gutted that we didn’t get the three points – I was and I spoke to a couple of supporters who said we were throwing it away.
I was gobsmacked and reassured them that we’d be ok, we only needed to win. Their reply was that they wanted the title. In my opinion, the main reason I want the title is for the players’ sake as they deserve it, but overall the most important thing is promotion.
Then, just two hours later after Leeds lost at Brentford, all the doom and gloom lifted from many supporters.
So, let’s go into the Blackburn game with joy and start the party the moment we see the floodlights. Let’s have plenty of colour and noise throughout the game. Give everybody who has played their part in what has been one truly memorable season your full support.
But one thing – if you are still in the ground 15 minutes after the game has finished and you’re still celebrating with fellow Canaries, spare a thought for this one who’ll be travelling to London, probably feeling jealous at missing out on the celebrations.
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