We must sign Martin up now

The end of the season is approaching fast and I think City fans are feeling much more positive than they were six months ago.

The end of the season is approaching fast and I think City fans are feeling much more positive than they were six months ago.

Never one to miss the opportunity to indulge in some blind optimism, I for one cannot wait for next season to start. I thought there was a real buzz about the place on Tuesday night against Birmingham, just like old times.

With the exception of the Cardiff blip, City have looked a different side over the last few games.

I think it is very significant that this has coincided with the appointment of Jim Duffy as assistant manager. The team seems to have self belief, motivation and a will to win that just wasn't there before.

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I have been particularly impressed with Simon Lappin who has the most cultured left foot we have had at City for a long time.

And then there is Chris Martin. The Norwich City board have had their fair share of problems over the last three years but I see another one looming on the horizon.

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The more impressive performances we get from Chris, the more the premiership vultures will be circling.

I believe there were three gentlemen in suits at the game Tuesday who got up and left when Chris was substituted. Make no mistake, this is not a Dean Ashton situation, where we have a quality player using City as a career stepping stone.. This is a Chris Sutton or a Kevin Reeves situation.

For the first time in several years, owing mainly to a combination of club priorities and geography, we have here a home produced young player who has a very bright future, and who has, at this stage of his career, no great desire to leave Norwich City.

When the big clubs come dangling fat cheques it will be a test of the board's 'Prudence with Ambition'. This is a new examination for this board.

None of the present directors were at the club last time a situation like this arose, and it will be interesting to see how they react, particularly as the amazingly loyal City fans have baulked the general football trend and renewed season tickets in even larger numbers than last season.

What is imperative now though is that we get Chris on a decent contract as soon as possible. I have to say I am a little puzzled by the delay.

The return of Luke Chadwick is also encouraging as is the prospective return of Rob Earnshaw. There are question marks as always about his future and that too of Youssef Safri but it would be great if they both stayed at Carrow Road.

Surely with the new found optimism at the club they must be thinking they could do worse than play their football here. I hope so.

Another reason I am looking forward to next season is that Peter Grant has shown he cares about the cup competitions. Despite assurances otherwise, his predecessor gave little respect to either the FA Cup or the Coca Cola cup and tarnished the fine cup fighting tradition of Norwich City.

Under Grant we have enjoyed six ties this season culminating in a wonderful day out at Chelsea. Amazingly they were all away from home. Surely next season the draws will be kinder. Bring it on.

Please note: The NCISA forum with Peter Grant which was to be held in the Norfolk Lounge Carrow Road Thursday, March 22 will not now go ahead as Peter is moving house that day.

We hope to rearrange it as soon as possible. Look out in the local press and on our website www.ncisa.co.uk for details of the new date.

Finally our very best wishes to Antony Parke NCISA website co-ordinator who is getting married today.

We would like to wish him and his new bride Cara all the best for the future.

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