Ian Clarke: Come on City fans, let’s lift the gloom and raise the roof
PUBLISHED: 12:27 06 November 2019 | UPDATED: 12:27 06 November 2019
Can you believe it’s only 53 days since one of the greatest victories in Norwich City’s 117-year history?
If you count it in playing time, it's just six matches and nine hours of football since we floated out of Carrow Road on Cloud Nine at the end of that stunning victory over Manchester City.
We'd gone into the live TV game fearing it could be us - rather than subsequently Southampton - who could have equalled the Tractor Boys' all-time worst ever top flight loss.
Daniel Farke's pre-match injury bulletin was more like a scene from Casualty.
Somehow his make-shift team produced the most phenomenal of performances to humble Pep's multi-millionaire stars.
The atmosphere from minute one to the final whistle made the hairs on the back of the neck stand to attention,
It was a result and display from every single man in yellow and green that made the nation sit up and take notice and gave us real hope
that we could seriously compete in the top flight.
Five defeats and one draw on and the world seems a very different place.
Just two goals scored (both consolations at the end of comprehensive defeats) and 14 conceded tells its own story.
Teemu Pukki hasn't found the net since that game for the Canaries and from thriving on stellar service, he is now feeding off scraps.
Silly errors are being punished, teams are sussing us out and confidence on and off the pitch seems to be ebbing away.
Does it seem like the Canary bubble has burst? Are you on the verge of being resigned to heading straight back down to the Championship? Struggling to see where the next point is coming from?
I would expect a fair few answers of 'yes' to all of those questions.
Let me make it clear that I'm really concerned about the Canaries right now.
There are worrying signs all over the park at the moment.
Only Tim Krul is really shining for the Canaries.
Despite efforts in some quarters to play down the significance of Friday's basement battle, it is massive.
Should Watford head back down the A11 after recording their first win of the season, we really will be in trouble.
An hour before kick off will see the Big Boom fireworks display over the city.
It's always a stunning display giving great excitement to thousands of onlookers.
Yes, there are parallels between overcoming Man City and Norwich's biggest pyrotechnic night of the year.
Make no mistake we need our team to be on fire again against the Hornets - and as fans we need to get the volume levels back to those
heady early days of the season.
Apart from moments after Krul's penalty saves against Man United, I think the atmosphere in Carra over those last two games has been disappointingly quiet.
Of course getting thumped 5-1 against a team who finished well below us last year provides very little to get excited about.
And a reversal against the previously tepid Red Devils isn't a catalyst for a cauldron of noise.
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Friday's fixture has the hallmarks of a make or break night for the Canaries.
I've already spelt out the scenario if the worst happens.
On the other hand, victory would take us above Southampton and within a point of out of sorts Everton, who by the way provide the next opponents after the latest international break.
There has to be hope of some momentum as we go into the hectic December in which City will play seven games.
Some fans feel it's the players' job to create the excitement to raise the roof. They're hugely well rewarded and they have the onus to get the supporters - who shell out very good money - going.
I get the logic.
But now is the time to bring back that spirit of One City Strong and all of us firing on all cylinders.
I know for a fact what the atmosphere means to the players - in a positive way if it is good and in reverse when it's quiet and edgy.
Let's remember where we've come in a short space of time.
Little over a year ago we were struggling to really get going in the Championship.
Then came that amazing few months which led to the unforgettable promotion party - followed by those early high points of the Premier League season so far.
It's time for the gloom to be lifted and let's raise that Carrow Road roof and get this season back on track.
Tackling mental health issues
A huge well done to the Norwich City Fans Social Club for organising an awareness evening at which some former players will share their struggles with mental health in an effort to create a change in attitudes.
Cedric Anselin, Darren Eadie and Adrian Forbes will be guests at the event in the Norfolk Lounge at Carrow Road on November 21, 7.30pm, hosted by Michael Bailey.
Cedric recently featured in a video released by the club on Mental Health Day to attempt to normalise the conversation around the topic.
Joining the ex-players will be City fan Norman Lamb, who has stood down sa North Norfolk MP ahead of the general election to launch a new mental health and wellbeing fund aimed at supporting people in Norfolk.
Around 15 mental health professionals and charities have also been invited to have information displays.
Entry is free with a chance to donate to the CSF's #buildthenest campaign.
Fitting tribute to Big Dunc
I'm really pleased that City fans will have another chance to give club legend Duncan Forbes a hero's farewell at Carrow Road.
On Friday, November 15, the stadium where he played so many memorable games will provide the setting for a memorial service in a public celebration of the former captain's life.
The Barclay End will be open to supporters wishing to pay respects to Mr Forbes with a funeral service conducted at pitchside.
Seating will be made available from 10am, with guests asked to take their seats at 10.45m, with the 45-minute service beginning at 11am.
Members of his family will be in attendance, along with club joint-majority shareholders Delia Smith and Michael Wynn-Jones and former club colleagues and teammates.
I'm sad to be missing the day as I'll be at the EACH new hospice being officially opened by the Duchess of Cambridge but I know Big Dunc will be given a fitting and memorable send-off.
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