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Jack Reeve: Norwich City showed why we are more than just a club against Middlesbrough

PUBLISHED: 17:17 05 February 2018 | UPDATED: 23:09 05 February 2018

James Maddison leads out the mascots, including Ethan Thomas, before Norwich City's Championship clash against Middlesbrough. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

James Maddison leads out the mascots, including Ethan Thomas, before Norwich City's Championship clash against Middlesbrough. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

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I will be the first to admit, there have been times this season in which I have questioned whether this new regime at Norwich City was going to work.

A picture of Michelle Dack was shown on the video screen in her memory at Carrow Road during the 52nd minute's applause. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesA picture of Michelle Dack was shown on the video screen in her memory at Carrow Road during the 52nd minute's applause. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

I was starting to sit through too many turgid home displays and poor away offerings to carry the same amount of enthusiasm as I did when Stuart Webber and Daniel Farke were first brought into the club.

However, after seeing our work both on and off the pitch over the past month I feel confident that this plan is going to be the right one for the long term good of the club.

I thought our transfer window was carried out in a very professional and level headed way.

We brought in good money for players that didn’t want to be here, lowered the average age of the squad and added good quality players in areas that desperately needed strengthening.

Sky Sports presenter Simon Thomas, who lost his wife, Gemma, through acute myeloid leukaemia recently, watches the match with his son Ethan. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesSky Sports presenter Simon Thomas, who lost his wife, Gemma, through acute myeloid leukaemia recently, watches the match with his son Ethan. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

We all saw the quality of Moritz Leitner at the weekend and the raw pace of Onel Hernandez has the potential to cause chaos. As well as that we have yet to see Dennis Srbeny who boasts a superb goalscoring ratio in Germany and Marcus Edwards who was described as ‘Mini Messi’ by Mauricio Pochettino. Add those players to the core of the squad that are performing to a high standard on a consistent basis we have reason to be optimistic again.

Less of the football however, Saturday meant a lot to me and many others due to the unity that our fans created. I was devastated to see the passing of Michelle Dack last week, a true super fan who will be sorely missed by many, none more so than partner Ian.

The 52nd minute applause that was impeccably participated in by everyone inside Carrow Road was enough to make even the hardiest soul emotional.

It proved exactly why I’m so proud to support Norwich City – we are one. In the toughest of situations a City pulls together to create a support network able to overcome the toughest situations.

As well as that I was delighted to see young Ethan Thomas given a fantastic day by the club. Him and his dad, Simon, have had a truly heartbreaking few months and I really hope Saturday provided some kind of joy and happiness.

The death of Gemma Thomas really hit me hard, as I’m sure it did many having seen the outpouring support from so many over the past few months.

When my father passed away Simon was one of the first people to reach out to me to provide support, he was always on the end his phone when I needed him and provided light in what was a very dark time.

I’ve come to realise over the past few seasons that although the results of games are still huge to me, it’s not the be all and end all anymore. When I was younger my weekend used to be ruined if we lost.

Now I find a lot more joy from everything else that going to Norwich City games gives me. Seeing my friends, being surrounded by people all interested in the same thing as me, travelling up and down the country with people who all have the same common goal as me.

Norwich City fans provided me a support network when I needed it most and helped me more than anyone will ever fully grasp, for that I can only be thankful.

Yes, it was beautiful seeing our boys put in a professional display to beat a strong Middlesbrough side, but it was even more beautiful seeing everyone pull together to try and create a memorable day for our fans who needed it most.

Norwich City – more than just a club.

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