October 31 2014 Latest news:

All hope is not lost for Norwich City

Robert Snodgrass sums up the mood of frustration for Norwich City. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd Robert Snodgrass sums up the mood of frustration for Norwich City. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Monday, April 21, 2014
7:45 AM

After the applause came the crushing realisation Norwich City’s brave stand against the Premier League champions-elect had done nothing to alleviate their own suffering.

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The Canaries’ robust efforts to try and repel the best attacking side in the country were thunderously received at the final whistle by a home support who had berated the same set of players last time out at Carrow Road against West Brom.

One can scarcely believe the seismic mood shift during the intervening period.

Norwich were bold and fearless against the Reds when they had been weak and timid against the Baggies. City’s forward play was laboured and predictable in their failure to break down a well-drilled Albion, yet here they demonstrated a collective commitment to attack with width and genuine thrust. If the ugly reaction in the immediate aftermath of that damaging West Brom defeat was the tipping point in a downward spiral, the response since both at Craven Cottage and on home soil has been invigorating.

Neil Adams deserves huge credit for helping repair that fracture and injecting a positive intent into a squad who were shuffling towards the abyss. Norwich may still lose the fight for survival but they show no signs of going quietly on the evidence of Adams’ first two matches in charge. Those tangible gains remain elusive. City’s profligacy was their undoing at Fulham. Defensive frailties proved fatal against Brendan Rodgers’ slick side.

Raheem Sterling’s opening strike was a wonderful piece of technique but he swerved around Bradley Johnson with the dismissive arrogance of youth and a precocious talent. Luis Suarez inevitably left his imprint on proceedings minutes later, but Michael Turner was almost mesmerised by the Uruguayan’s subtle movement inside the Norwich area as he broke free of the central defender’s close attentions to slot Sterling’s inviting cross.

The Canaries’ early sluggishness was ruthlessly exploited by a club who look ready to embrace history. Adams’ admission of admonishments inside the home dressing room at the interval acknowledged that fact. City had carried a sporadic threat in the opening period but it was hard not to shake the belief Liverpool were toying with their prey; content to sit on a two-goal lead and look to raid on the counter. John Ruddy foiled Joe Allen when the former Swansea man was left unattended. Philippe Coutinho curled wide after a flowing counter triggered by the excellent Martin Skrtel deep inside his own area.

But Gary Hooper’s close range finish 10 minutes after the restart shook the status quo. Liverpool appeared vulnerable when Simon Mignolet’s error in misjudging Steven Whittaker’s cross was bravely punished by Bradley Johnson’s towering leap.

How cruel the City midfielder will remember his shift more for the errant pass Sterling despatched via his deflection which looped up and over the stranded Ruddy. There were shades of a similar concession at Manchester City earlier this season in what turned into a humiliating rout. That fear of another similarly poisonous end to proceedings briefly surfaced again. Norwich had responded once but twice was pushing the bounds of probability even on a weekend when Sunderland proved just what is possible when the pressure and tension unites the top and the very bottom.

Suarez dragged wide after checking inside two Norwich players, Sterling continued to roam freely but that positive intent that has defined Adams’ short tenure so far brought a home reply. Snodgrass was denied by Mignolet from 20 yards but the Scottish international majestically rose above the inexperienced Jon Flanagan to despatch Martin Olsson’s cross.

The force was with Norwich. Liverpool looked increasingly inhibited. Rodgers sent for extra ballast in the shape of Daniel Agger. Adams turned to Josh Murphy and Ricky van Wolfswinkel and it was the Dutchman who could have punished the Reds when he rose unmarked but headed at Mignolet from Nathan Redmond’s teasing cross.

It was more frustration for a striker who had brilliantly converted a far more difficult aerial test against Everton way back on an opening day of limitless possibilities.

That hope and optimism has long since receded. Now it is angst and worry as the games run out and the rivals loom ever closer into view. Liverpool was the first of four daunting tests against the elite, but if nothing else a valiant defeat should serve as a salutary reminder this is about Norwich now and not the illustrious company that stands between them and safety.

After the initial skirmishes there was no trace of any inferiority complex, but in the final analysis Adams’ men simply left themselves too much to do to halt a side on a relentless pursuit of a first league title in 24 years.

Norwich need a foothold, a bridgehead like Sunderland found at Stamford Bridge and on that measure this was another failure in a growing list. Yet there was enough in a courageous offering to retain a sense that all is not lost.

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38 comments

  • Beat Manure today, a Point away at Chelski next week and a Home win against the Gunners to finish up mid-table, simple ! OTBC

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    Dubai Canary

    Saturday, April 26, 2014

  • stormy, I'm afraid its worse than that. Cardiff play Sunderland this weekend, and unless they draw, one of them will go above us and then it doesn't matter what they all do if we can't get another point.

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    richard1

    Wednesday, April 23, 2014

  • I have to agree that we all know that all hope is lost. No need to wait for the fat lady to start singing, the refrain has been in our ears since December when the Board failed to act and refused to dismiss Hughton. As a last hurrah it would make me smile to turn over Man Utd, but once again I realise this is a forlorn hope; we just do not have the ammunition for this kind of fight.

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    kenfoggo

    Tuesday, April 22, 2014

  • I agree that Fer does not look up for the fight. He looked clueless and disinterested. I find him very frustrating as at times he shows moments of class, but the majority of the time makes mistakes and looks like he hasn't got control of the ball. I thought Snodgrass and Johnson were excellent (dodgy square pass aside) and were clearly up for the fight.

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    Smudger75

    Tuesday, April 22, 2014

  • Tom, you are spot on. The only hope City have is Fulham lose all their games. Regardless of whose in charge, this bunch of players are awful. Apart from Redmond, who will no doubt be off, this present team would and will find it difficult next year facing Championship teams. I dearly wish to be proved wrong and that somehow a miracle happens.

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    stormy

    Tuesday, April 22, 2014

  • There's a few gunning at McNally. Why? He wasn't around when we waited and waited before Worthy was replaced. Same applys to the Roeder situation. I think Lincs is right, I doubt McNally does have all the hire and fire power without consultation and a nod of approval. It seems the nodders haven't learnt form their past. Third time lucky? I hope so....

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    pug

    Monday, April 21, 2014

  • If Adams is able to motivate the players to play as best as they possibly can,as they did on Saturday,that is all I ask.OTBC.

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    Peter Watson

    Monday, April 21, 2014

  • All this talk is cheap and a waste of time. Norwich are getting relegated. I know it, you know it, the club knows it, any sane fan knows it, all the players know it and it is a question of when, not if. Move on.

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    Tom

    Monday, April 21, 2014

  • I think Neil Adams has done great!All along I've wanted a change and the doubters who call for an experienced manager should think twice.It isn't about experience.its about having the motivation skills and the balls to change things.Adams has got all that ability.He has Norwich in his heart like Kenny Dalglish has of Liverpool.Lets hope the board stick with Neil for the forthcoming season because he has got the qualities in him to be a great manager.

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    paul553

    Monday, April 21, 2014

  • If Chris Hughton had still been in charge City would probably have defended a bit better in the first half but not rallied and scored twice in the second. The players and supporters are behind Neil Adams. Not sure we need another manager whatever happens now. I anticipate better entertainment at Carrow Road next season, never mind the last three games all against top seven teams.

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    Capri

    Monday, April 21, 2014

  • Hmm..some of us have got long memories canaryjon. Remember Malky's speech in June 2012 when he ruled himself out of replacing Lambert @ City, saying he wanted to stay @ Cardiff? Adams is Mr.Norwich City, so let's give him these last few games + then see what the results are before making any decisions!

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    Timbo

    Monday, April 21, 2014

  • Little birdie says Neil sent at least three dissenters home yesterday. .. two West African defenders and a small Irish guy amongst them? Let's ask Archie shall we?

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    el dingo

    Monday, April 21, 2014

  • I agree with canaryjon. Adams stint as manager should end after his 5 games, whether we stay up or not. I would prefer an experienced championship manager to take us through next season, should we be in the championship - and I think we will. Moyes is set to be sacked before our game on Saturday, is that bad news?

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    Henry

    Monday, April 21, 2014

  • Martinez to United, Moyes to Norwich, Adams to Everton. No, let's try another combo. martinez to Man U. Moyes back to Everton and Adams to stay put. That'll do nicely on what I've seen so far. Wounds take time to heal, and ours may be deeper than we realise.

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    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Monday, April 21, 2014

  • Everybody but the board knows that CH should have been sacked months ago,however I think McN has been very good for city,lets not forget the Lambert years under McN that got us where we are and in a very sound financial position,hate the thought of going down but we are well equipped to bounce back,do not feel though that Adams is the man for the job,he has done ok but we need a proven manager and the only choice to my mind is Malky,would feel positive about next season with him in charge

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    canaryjon

    Monday, April 21, 2014

  • The only thing I would add is that Fer does worry me. He doesnt seem to have the conviction of the others. He looks though he is out for jog. Agree TK about the mistake by Johnson, plus the fact that it was a pure fluke that the ball ended up in the net.

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    sharky

    Monday, April 21, 2014

  • Wise words Barking and TK Nothing to add to that. OTBC

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    sharky

    Monday, April 21, 2014

  • By next week Man Utd hopefully will have nothing left to play for, and probably be less motivated to play for their manager, by the following week Chelsea will only have their European adventure to play for so will rest their first team against us, and we must hope Arsenal have secured their European place before the last match so they have little motivation to go all out for a win. And let's hope Sunderland v Cardiff ends as a draw...

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    Surrey Canary

    Monday, April 21, 2014

  • Jaz, I did watch the game and was considered knowledgeable enough to be awarded a coaching badge in the past for the game. I agree that does not make me any more qualified to judge a game than most other fans, you may be right in that Howson could have been tasked with a defending midfield role at the start of the game but I for one hope that was not the case as he simply cannot do that role. One thing was for sure, only Johnson appeared to be trying to win the midfield battle. In truth most of the others appeared o play more of a roaming role so I am not sure Fer was instructed to play behind the strikers if we actually considered Redmond to be doing that role. I actually think NA sets up a more fluid team than that. What I would say is that Howson had a below par first half but played very well for much of the second half, he even surprised me by putting in one or two good tackles. We did come up against the best side in the league and had lady luck smiled on us, we might just have got a point out of the game. It was noticble though that when Johnson lost the ball for their goal, he was still the only midfilder prepared to chase back and do a defending role.

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    TrevorKeith

    Monday, April 21, 2014

  • Hmmm. For all the so-called "getting it wrong" with managerial selection, no one is complaining about the selection of Paul Lambert as manager, and for one season, boring though it was, it seemed that Hughton wasn't too shabby a choice either. Well, here we are with Neyull and things are already looking rosier, and that is another board decision, so lets just leave the board alone, support the team and Mr Adams, and cheer our club forward to survival !! ...and rumour control seems to suggest that Moyes is about to join Hughton on the scrap heap... That will make next week interesting... OTBC!!

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    Hants Canary

    Monday, April 21, 2014

  • Brave is certainly the word, 'hope is not lost' is unfortunately not quite so accurate. We can't realistically stay up from here, in fact if Sunderland win their game in hand (home to Cardiff) then we're in relegation zone by goal difference. The damage is done, we've been relegated since the defeat at home against West Brom. The stupid attitude towards CH being at Carrow Road has killed us, believe it or not, despite our negativity we didn't encourage the board enough. People seem to forget that it wasn't hunky dory in his first season, our last home game of the season was against West Brom and it was the difference between staying up or facing the drop, far from a convincing season. Same story this time, just not as much luck. The family attitude at Carrow Road has sacrificed our football, going now is more of a circus than a footballing environment. And all those who were saying that those opposing CH were haters and boo-boys, most probably wont be seen next season, leave going to football for those who want to watch football, rather than a jolly with the kids. I never remember such a stale atmosphere with such oblivious support. I'd love to know how many of the aforementioned were in the stands when there was Worthington, then Peter Grant, then Roeder, then Gunn as he was pelted with a season ticket. It's back to the same old, because of a board that haven't the slightest idea of what they should be looking at.

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    Willem

    Monday, April 21, 2014

  • The big (positive) point here is that although Adams got his tactics wrong at the start of the match, he didn't do a CH, he changed the formation and Liverpool had to fight for their win. Under CH there was no Plan B. We would have kept on playing Plan A and ended up losing 0-5.

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    Imperial Echoes

    Monday, April 21, 2014

  • This board has an Achilles heel when it comes to appointing managers and I assume McNally was brought in to address that problem. Even so I doubt if McN was given absolute power to hire and fire managers hence the dithering. Of course, while there are games there is hope but when the season ends I hope the board is bold enough to look in the mirror and ask some questions about the problems their indecision created. (PS, brief version of another post that went down the plughole).

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    Lincs Canary

    Monday, April 21, 2014

  • Concerning any anger being directed towards McNally I think it reflects frustration at how the ditching of Hughton was delayed until what remained of the season amounted to mission impossible for Adams. What we don't know (do we?) is how much the Hughton decision was purely down to McNally but I doubt if he has absolute power to hire and fire managers. Perhaps it would be better if he did and then we would know where to point the finger. Concerning the dangers of falling in to foreign hands, if that is where this debate is heading, nine PL clubs are British owned, none of them are in the top four. However, I do not think how a club is run has much to do with nationality. Think of Ridsdale and Bates. Think of Leicester who have been bankrolled by Thai owners to end ten years in the wilderness. Pros and cons. I consider our board to be well intended but with a fatal flaw of chosing bad managers. With them we ride a rollercoaster up and down the divisions. Now we are on the brink of sliding down once more. If you are happy with that, well ok. The alternative is to urge the major shareholders to sell and trust they will find well intentioned buyers with the funds to establish NCFC as more than a marginal Prem club.

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    Lincs Canary

    Monday, April 21, 2014

  • I agree with your point on Fer & Howson, Jaz. How good that NA reads the game and responds and a bit of a novelty this season. Liverpool played a 5-man midfield to start with and ran rings round us and because we were content to sit in front of them and not challenge, they played with us for the first 30 mins, as they have done with most sides in the league. It's getting better every game but there is still a long, long way to go.

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    Swiss Canary

    Monday, April 21, 2014

  • " Unfortunately NA got his starting tactics wrong by playing a very attack minded set up, had we employed two defending midfielders then perhaps we could have avoided the early disaster. " I think this comment shows how people simply don't watch the game they proclaim they love. He got it wrong because he put Fer behind the striker instead of Howson. All that changed in the second half was he swapped the two around and both looked more comfortable.

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    Jaz Smith

    Monday, April 21, 2014

  • Yes, the first 20 minutes were not good, but it got better from there, and the Adams hairdryer at half time certainly worked. We scored 2 good goals and the one that finally defeated us was a cruel deflection, whereas at the other end Liverpool were lucky that in a similar situation the deflection went a foot or so wide. After 2 games, Adams has worked miracles with the sadly demotivated team that Hughton left behind. Good for him! Let's hope that we get yesterday's 2nd half commitment for the whole of Saturday's upcoming game against Man U. We'll certainly want the points more than Moyes' unkempt bunch. Regarding the board, yes, they certainly made a big mistake by not getting rid of Hughton before Christmas. Perhaps their attitude was too nice, lacking a realistic "killer instinct" for premier league survival. McNally. Delia and the Michaels are still a much better prospect for us fans than certain foreign owners that I could name! I'm sure that such a mistake won't be repeated.The only board member that I don't understand is Stephen Fry. What value does he bring to NCFC and it's fans?

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    Honest Injun

    Monday, April 21, 2014

  • I've spoken to David McNally a few times and Neil from Doncaster once. IMO one of them is a good geezer and the other reminiscent of some kind of invertebrate. Make your own minds up which one I rate - clue: I don't believe he has ever been with the SFA.

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    el dingo

    Monday, April 21, 2014

  • Please guys can we stop this constant slagging of managers CEOs players etc. Everyone makes mistakes and I am sure given the chance, McNally will hold up his hands and admit that big decisions should have been made earlier. Hughton tried his best but he was out of his depth. Neil Adams is a youth coach for goodness sakes and what he has achieved in two games is, in my opinion, absolutely amazing. Yes we have 3 enormous games left but the belief is back and I believe we can get the points that will help us to safety. Norwich without McNally would be bad for the club. He has brought stability and progression. We wouldn't be where we are now without him and the other board members. So please give it a rest and use your energies to support this magnificent team of ours!! otbc

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    Canarygirl

    Monday, April 21, 2014

  • Good point Trevor...NA set us up wrong at the start (would Hughton have done that?) Gave us a mountain to climb but the second half performance was great. Had we equalised I suspect Liverpool could have gone up a gear. Whilst the board might have got it wrong re Hughton and it is fair enough to criticise them I dislike this Mcnally 'we're coming for you' rubbish. What does it mean? What sort of threat is that? Another hate campaign that might force a decent chief executive out? You could make a case that the hate campaign against Hughton became a self-fulfilling prophecy, inhibiting him and the players, helping lead to the mess we're in. I was pro Hughton and will admit that with hindsight we should probably have sacked him in December, but hindsight is a wonderful thing and there is no guarantee that a replacement would have done any better. Good luck NA and NCFC, we're not down yet.

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    pablo

    Monday, April 21, 2014

  • …..If it's any consolation, it appears that Man Untd are going through the same turmoil with Moyes as we had to endure with Hughton!....I somehow don't think they will let it go on for 20 months!.....

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    Stew Pydsodd

    Monday, April 21, 2014

  • I was going so say it was a game of two halves but the truth was it was only the first 20 minutes that let us down. Unfortunately NA got his starting tactics wrong by playing a very attack minded set up, had we employed two defending midfielders then perhaps we could have avoided the early disaster. At that stage we looked a league apart at least. However, NA quickly managed to instruct his team to change its shape and then we really gave it a go, such a shame Liverpool actually defended very well for the second quarter of the game or we may have got one back before half time. Lets all remember that we actually won the second half even if that does not result in points gained and Liverpool also scored two early goals against a highly rated Man City team recently. CIS, for those spouting on about McNally, just remember what we had before, do you really want to see the return of Doon Caster or similar idiots. I would rather stick with our British owners on the board than sell out to an overseas vulture.

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    TrevorKeith

    Monday, April 21, 2014

  • Canaryinslovenia, so you are coming to get Mr McNally ? Grow up. Good luck to Neil Adams, he is doing well but I believe Chris Hughton would undoubtedly also have got 'big performances' from the last two games and quite possibly, some points.

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    Johny

    Monday, April 21, 2014

  • Brave and stirring though this performance was, let's face it folks - it's too late to make up all the ground lost under Hughton. Sad but true...

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    la barbe

    Monday, April 21, 2014

  • If this bunch of players ever give anyone a full 90 minutes of 100% commitment then all hope is not lost. But why sluggish in the first half? How come they need geeing up at half time considering what was at stake? The ghost of Hughton lingered as we dozed off and left a mountain to climb. At least Adams delivered the hair drier and changed tactics. So what hope? It now looks like Man U and Chelsea will not be hungry for the points. Perhaps they can outsluggish us. But this group of players strike me as talkers rather than doers and well capable of looking any gift horse in the mouth. I think Adams can be a good manager but he's been gifted a hopeless hand by the board who will probably axe him at end of season and make another useless appointment.

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    Lincs Canary

    Monday, April 21, 2014

  • I am watching the same team? The same players? I sensed that they actually care now and want to play football after the shackles of agent Hughton have been cast aside. I hope that man never puts another foot in Norfolk again. As for McNally and the Boards dithering, well that can be put aside until the summer as we all need to get behind the team now, but make no mistake McNally we are coming for you.

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    Canaryinslovenia

    Monday, April 21, 2014

  • it just makes you think if we had put adams in charge just one game earlier against west broom we might have been safe - that is what is so gutting. Why oh why did they not get rid of Hughton at Christmas letting him stay just because we won the odd game then lost the next 4 or 5 and then won another odd one and repeat the cycle did not make any kind of sense - the supporters knew that and had been making that call but no-one listened.

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    citizen

    Monday, April 21, 2014

  • If we can just start with the intensity we demonstrated in the second half, we will get at least 3 points from the 9 available.... Great performance and it will stand us postively for the last run and make the opposition nervous. Best wishes on our run amd curses for the teams around us on theirs!

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    TheBirdCage

    Monday, April 21, 2014

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