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Consistency, consistency, consistency - that’s what we need from the Canaries

PUBLISHED: 06:00 26 January 2017 | UPDATED: 22:00 26 January 2017

Jonny Howson sealed Norwich City's 3-1 Championship win over Wolves. 
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Jonny Howson sealed Norwich City's 3-1 Championship win over Wolves. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

©Focus Images Limited www.focus-images.co.uk +447814 482222

Let’s start this column with a memory test.

Norwich City fans long for consistency in a tough season. 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd Norwich City fans long for consistency in a tough season. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Think back 103 days to Saturday October 15.

Any idea why that was a special day for City fans?
Well, a less than convincing 3-1 win over basement club Rotherham will hardly be one of those matches we look back on in years to come and yell enthusiastically “I was there.”

In the context of a so far pretty wretched season, that triumph in late autumn has now become significant as it was the last time Alex Neil’s men won two games on the trot.

Yes, really. I have been through the results several times to check as I can’t quite believe it’s true.

Turn the clock back a further two weeks - so 117 days to be precise - and that was when the Canaries last won on the road.

Those two pretty depressing stats encapsulate why most supporters remain pretty unconvinced and why we remain in mid table, five points from the play offs and 18 points off the automatic places.
In the period when autumn turned to winter and Christmas came and went, City followers have glimmers of hope. That 5-0 demolition of Brentford, the win over Villa and the Oliveira-inspired trouncing of Derby.

All of those league wins were followed by league defeats and those who had dared to dream of climbing the table were rudely woken up.

The 3-1 victory over Wolves again gives us reasons to be optimistic.

We finally got one over Paul Lambert, Jonny Howson was at his very best and Wes reminded us again why we love him.

I actually quite enjoyed it and I haven’t said that enough this term.

But it will only really mean anything if City can follow it up against Birmingham by returning to those long lost days of the back to back win.

The Blues haven’t won since they inexplicably got rid of manager Gary Rowett. They are very near the bottom of the current form table and surely will come low in confidence.

I’m fed up with the phrase ‘Along Came Norwich’ for games like these. It needs to be kicked over the River End stand and dumped at the bottom of the Wensum.

Then we want to see that away day winless streak - which dates back to Wolves on October 1 - ended at Cardiff.

Oh and if fans have any real hope that a shot at the play-offs could still be possible, a positive return at struggling Wigan has to be a target.

Such consistency hasn’t been enjoyed by the Canaries since the early days of the campaign when the team topped the table and going straight back up seemed a near certainty in some quarters.

Consistency, consistency, consistency. Yes please...

Even though we haven’t been treated to champagne football at NR1, the return on the Carrow Road turf has actually been quite acceptable.

Nine wins from 13 games leaves Norwich in fourth place in the home form table - one point better off than Newcastle.

Unfortunately half the season is played out of Norfolk and the away success league looks very different.

The Canaries sit 17th in that with just 12 points from 14 games and only Rotherham (who have lost all but one of their away games) have let in more goals.

If Neil can cure the travel sickness and maintain the home comforts, we may (and I stress may) be in business.

Otherwise we can brace ourselves for another year in the second tier.

Time is running out to make those signings which give City a last throw of the dice to mix things up and improve chances of success.

I want to see players come in with hunger, desire and who can help ensure that consistency we are so badly missing.

I know current Canaries can only be shipped out if other clubs want them. But every effort needs to be made to get rid of those who don’t fit the mould and have no future at the club.

It’s a massive week on and off the pitch for Norwich City and one which will go a long way to shaping the rest of the season and beyond.

Clash of kits was so ridiculous

We had a good debate in the office this week about what we would do if we were elected FIFA president.

Outlawing coloured boots, going back to 1-11 shirt numbers and allowing rush keepers were among the varied suggestions from my workmates.

Another was only allowing change kits to avoid a clash of colours with the opposition,

Anyone who was at Carrow Road on Saturday will not be surprised to hear that that led to discussion about THAT Wolves strip.

We can only assume that they chose the lime number as it was thought that their famous deep gold shirts may be mistaken for the bright yellow City ones.

What was so farcical is that the change kit actually ended up being more similar to Norwich’s than the traditional one.

Football really is a funny old game (and pretty daft for much of the time).

I really want to see Murphy boys succeed

Throughout my 40 or so years as a Norwich fan I have been delighted to see local lads succeed.

Disco Dale Gordon remains my favourite local product and I was rather more excited than a man of a certain age should be when I saw him at the Carrow Road 80th anniversary dinner a couple of years ago.

Sadly in recent years we haven’t seen anywhere near enough players coming through the ranks.

It was good to see Josh Murphy pen a new long-term contract with City this week - just a couple of months after his twin brother Jacob signed his own improved deal.

Both have massive potential and both have shown us glimpses of what they can do.

What I now hope is that they are given more of a chance - and take the opportunity to make themselves real City legends.

Follow Ian Clarke on Twitter @ianclarke41

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