September 19 2014 Latest news:
Friday, August 22, 2014
Two words struck a chord as Norwich City’s weekend and midweek reinvigorated a club still trying to work out if there’s going to be a marauding, moaning hangover from Premier League relegation this season, or repeatedly joyous Championship abandon.
• It seems that things appear to be imploding at Fulham, given their start to the season – and some are saying Felix Magath won’t be hanging around as boss, be it through his choice or that of his bosses. Which does beg the question: if he goes, could the Cottagers’ current first team coach step into the breach? Peter Grant has only ever managed Norwich City – but you just wonder...
The two words are nothing particularly new or clever. Just pertinent and undoubtedly important: momentum and patience.
Momentum was a commodity the Canaries were desperate to reap following on from their win over 10-man Watford last weekend.
It’s the sort of quality that can win you promotion almost on its own, be it with a play-off charge or earning a look at the top two.
And for Norwich City, it’s the sort of thing that will beat down those fans, however small a proportion, who aren’t happy with the direction of the club – whether that’s a fair feeling or not.
Carrow Road has been pretty good as a crowd since the season started – but as always, it only takes a short run of dodgy results and any scars left from last season will start to cause a distraction.
Which of course, means Carrow Road has played a part in the other linchpin of this season’s early dynamic – an already notable amount of patience.
It probably shouldn’t have surprised me – but I honestly wasn’t expecting genuine and sizeable warm applause at half-time on Tuesday night, with the score 1-1 and City looking a little flaky from kick-off.
The crowd made their feelings known with a bit of a wake-up call to their players after a dozy opening 15 minutes or so – and from then on, they stayed onside, before helping their team over the line as the game drew to a close; a game I was convinced would finish 1-1.
The atmosphere in those final five minutes was fantastic – better than anything inside the ground in the last year and a half.
It wasn’t that things were bad in that first half against Blackburn – more that it seemed inevitable with the demand for wins, drawing at half-time would meet a muted trudge to the bars.
Both momentum and patience are words easily trotted off before and after a game – but putting them into practice is a completely different affair. The fact both have happened in the last seven days is probably the most optimistic thing about the new campaign and what City are trying to achieve with it.
And both will have their place on Saturday lunchtime, when the game fans love as much as they dread finally arrives.
The pit of watching stomachs will be introduced to their hosts, emotions will be running high and memories of what happened the last time these two sides met will be thick in the air over Portman Road.
In that situation, a bit of patience on the ball and belief from their current momentum could easily prove to be winning factors.
But it’s more than that. The quality, desire and team-spirit will all take care of themselves over the season. Keeping patient and remaining buoyed by results can propel you as high as you like – long beyond 90 minutes of a derby.
That said, if it could also include those 90 minutes on Saturday, the smiles will be visible from here, all the way down to Ipswich.
• Follow Michael Bailey on Twitter @michaeljbailey