The game we can’t afford to lose

Do not be in doubt, next Saturday is the biggest game this club has faced since that early summer jaunt down to Fulham.

Do not be in doubt, next Saturday is the biggest game this club has faced since that early summer jaunt down to Fulham.

It is perhaps not ideal to heap further pressure on the players like this; but the enormity of the impending Coventry game will surely not have been lost on them either. We have to win: as simple as that. No other result is acceptable.

Even if we come back from 4-0 down to grab a point it won't be good enough.

Home games against Coventry aren't normally the sort of fixture to set fans' hearts racing - but next Saturday certainly will.

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Anything less than a win, and we are doomed. It is do-or-die stuff.

Every man, woman and child should be aware of the significance of next weekend's game, and to a man we should do everything to try and push our team over the line.

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All the nerves, frustrations and anger over our plight need to be channelled into support.

If anything sums up the sort of spirit we need to see in the stands, it was the way the Barclay, Snakepit and Jarrold Stand rose up after the ****'s first goal, drowning out their high-pitched celebrations with OTBC.

We simply have to make Carrow Road a tough place to come to again, and as fans we can massively play our part in that. Don't under-estimate it - we genuinely helped turn that game against the ****. They choked.

If we are going to survive, it is our home form that will do it.

And certainly amongst the Coventry ranks there is no shortage of motivation for our fans.

There is of course our former player of the season Andy Marshall, who quit us for Ipswich while declaring he was signing for a “big club”.

We still owe him, and it's time that one was cashed in.

There's also Leon, who despite the club standing by him during his injury and personal problems, declared on the eve of the transfer window that he “never wanted to play for Norwich again.”

The window shut and LM's departure left us well and truly in the brown stuff. He scored against the ****, it's all he's ever done.

And let's not forget Mr Dowie, who was Crystal Palace manager when Andy Johnson appeared to dive at every opportunity, with a devastating effect on our Premiership status. Let's go after them.

As The Man said last week the time for criticism has passed for now, we do not have that luxury anymore.

It is as plain as day that we have a team, more so than any other I have ever seen, which is utterly dependent on its collective confidence.

If we start moaning and booing this team will only get worse, and The Man for one, does not fancy League One.

Carrow Road with 25,000 people should be a huge advantage to our players, so let's make sure it is. After that, it is over to the players. The Man is a firm believer that at Championship level, work-rate and organisation can get you a long, long way. Especially in front of a partisan crowd.

The players are going to have to be brave: it is not easy to play under this sort of pressure.

We hear a lot about how their aren't many big characters in the dressing room - well here is a chance for a few to be born.

Right now The Man is not so concerned about relegation as such, I'm more concerned about being relegated without any sort of fight.

Bring on Coventry. Let's get into them, let's hound them, and let's get the three points.

As a footnote The Man - like Roeder - has grown tired of people constantly referring to the club as being 'too nice', and of Norfolk people being too soft compared to some of our big city counterparts. The Man doesn't buy it.

Norfolk people are fiercely independent and tough.

Ask the Romans after Boudicca bashed them. Ask the French after Nelson bashed them.

We are not, and never have been, either “nice” or “soft”. OTBC



THERE is a story on the club's website entitled “50 points to beat”.

When The Man first saw it, he thought it was an unusually candid assessment of our current predicament from the good people in the Canary Ministry for Information (CMI).

However, it turns out the 50-point target does not relate to our league position, but to the new half-time competition the club has concocted.

Fifty points is the current top score.

For those who have rightly been too busy consoling themselves in the bars at half-time, the current half-time incarnation has to be the worst interval “entertainment” I have ever seen.

The Man knows the marketing department had to think up a format that featured the words FLYBE as prominently as possible, but this venture is doing little to ease my half-time blues.

It involves fans trying to kick a ball through holes in a board which says the words FLYBE on it.

Yes, it is as dire as it sounds.

Participants undertake the lamest of side-foot shots in order the get the ball through the holes.

On a couple of occasions I have sat there actively boooooooing this spectacle, such is its paucity.

But more often than not I sit slumped in my seat wondering where on earth my life has gone wrong, such is its debilitating effect.

Oh for another Johnny Cleveland and his magnificent organ to raise our half-time morale?

JC was a true entertainer if ever there was one, a real showman.

Or how about the Chic Applin Sound with their iconic Norwich City Calypso? A bit of such glamour would not go amiss…

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