We stand by our manager stance

It's been a wretched season, and many of us are looking forward to getting tomorrow's Wolves game out of the way so that the curtain on this miserable campaign can finally be brought down.

It's been a wretched season, and many of us are looking forward to getting tomorrow's Wolves game out of the way so that the curtain on this miserable campaign can finally be brought down.

This year has been one that has been dominated by a debate about the future of our club, with the arguments focusing on the manager's situation at Carrow Road. Opinions have become ever more entrenched as the season has progressed, and the atmosphere at the recent QPR game was the worst since those dreadful final days of the Robert Chase regime a decade ago. It is sad to say that things have indeed got that bad.

Other than our well-attended St Andrew's Hall public meeting, NCISA has not organised any protests, but we will defend the right of any fan to make his or her opinions known in whatever form he or she chooses - within the law, of course. (Having said that, I think it helps no one if the players are booed by their own fans during a match.)

Although there have been a few demonstrations planned by other groups, many of the expressions of discontent have been spontaneous, with no one stirring up the malcontents or trying to drum up dissent.

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In December, NCISA called for Nigel Worthington to be replaced as manager - a move that seemed to be supported by most of our members but (and it would be churlish not to admit his) one that upset some others.

The association stands by the call for a change of manager, and we feel that results since December have justified our stance. Indeed, I think it's pretty clear that such a view has more support now than it did when the statement was released - and all that on the back of six consecutive home victories!

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The signings made since last summer have been disastrous. All managers make signings that don't pay off, for various reasons, and you can never guarantee that players will settle in, stay injury-free and immediately hit top form.

But since relegation, our situation has been ridiculous.

The list of players drafted in since last summer includes Peter Thorne, Dean Marney, Mathieu Louis-Jean, Jurgen Colin, Jason Jarrett, Andy Hughes, Carl Robinson and Dickson Etuhu. Only Robert Earnshaw can be said to have been a success - and even he was only signed because we'd just lost Dean Ashton.

So it won't just be the managerial situation that people will be watching over the coming weeks - it will also be the comings and goings amongst the players. If the manager makes another batch of signings of a quality similar to those made last year, many fans will start to get nervous about our chances of having a better 2006-07.

I've said this before, and I make no apologies for saying it again - NCISA is a broad church and we represent ALL our members, whatever anyone's stance on the manager or on any other issue at Carrow Road.

Indeed, regular readers of this column will know that within the 11-man NCISA committee there are a couple of people who remain in the 'Worthington In' camp. They may not hold the same views as their colleagues, but why should they? I believe that such diversity of opinion within our association is a strength, not a weakness, and long may it continue.

So have a good summer, put this season behind you and enjoy the World Cup (come on England!) - and let's all hope that 2006-07 is a happier time for Canaries fans.

t www.ncisa.co.uk

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