The 48-hour period that makes Norwich City’s summer enquiries easier to digest

Norwich City's Under-18s celebrate winning the FA Youth Cup at Stamford Bridge. Picture: Matthew Ush

Norwich City's Under-18s celebrate winning the FA Youth Cup at Stamford Bridge. Picture: Matthew Usher - Credit: Matthew Usher

While trying to think on my feet during Sunday’s Pinkun podcast, the season that has nearly finished brought the word tumultuous to mind – and rather harshly.

In fact, the period since Christmas drained so much enthusiasm out of Norwich City fans the uproar was verging on major disquiet.

The Canaries’ standing in the eyes of some stood little higher than a boring side playing poor football in irrelevant Premier League matches. For others, City were destined to see their time at the top-flight party end this Sunday.

Everyone and everything yellow seemed to lose its way – and then came 48 hours to turn it over again.

Another packed Carrow Road crowd is hard not to take for granted – but the atmosphere shouldn’t be. On Sunday the place was rocking, the fans never left the side of their heroes and the players delivered their end of the bargain.

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Just forget the recriminations and the questions over why Chris Hughton’s squad haven’t played like that all season.

Instead think about the feeling you almost certainly had while watching Hull and Cardiff secure promotion from the Championship, questioning whether Norwich would be heading in the other direction; missing out on that juicy new TV deal.

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When City were relegated in 1995, their timing could not have been worse given the Premier League was about to really take off.

It took them 10 years to recover that time – who’s to say what would have happened this time around.

If that doesn’t make you sit back, absorb how resplendent Carrow Road looked against West Brom, revel in Jonny Howson’s sublime fourth goal and City’s job well done in remaining a Premier League club then nothing will. It was a Sunday that restored some pride.

And then we had Monday night at Stamford Bridge – a fantastically enjoyable FA Youth Cup final second leg that will live long in the memory.

City’s kids were breathtaking, going forward and defensively. Their heart beat Chelsea, as much as their talent.

Add the fact 3,000 fans made the trip to west London – only 100 fans fewer than went to the same venue for the first team fixture in October – and City fans’ pride in their club should have been bubbling over.

Outside Norfolk, the fervour for football here has never really been appreciated – but those two days reminded the City supporters what makes their club great, while showing those further afield a side to Norwich they may have previously ignored.

“We were backed by truly phenomenal support and without them, I don’t know… These kids may have been pretty lonely at Stamford Bridge,” said Under-18 boss Neil Adams.

“People may think we’re out on a limb but these people are passionate about their football and the nation now knows that. They’ve seen the turnout for the semi-final and final home legs, and the support at Chelsea.

“I’m sure everyone now thinks, ‘Wow, they like their football down there and they’re prepared to follow it.”

Much better that than what was running through minds a week earlier, I’m sure you’d agree.

And the restored pride can provide a much healthier backdrop in addressing those tough questions many fans still want sorting. After all, the issues haven’t gone anywhere.

It’s just that they will now be a bit more appetising to deal with.

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