Iwan Roberts on the Selhurst Park defeat that led to a near naked rant from a Norwich City assistant manager
- Credit: Eastern Counties Newspapers
The big games just keep coming and tomorrow is no exception when City travel to Selhurst Park in what is another six-pointer.
Alan Pardew's men haven't won in their last 14 Premier League games, they've lost their last six home games and they sit just three points above Norwich in the table.
A win would be a great result and would put City within touching distance of another season in the top division.
For me, it's a must-not-lose game. If the lads come away with one point they then need to beat Sunderland at home next weekend and then there should be one heck of a party down at Carrow Road. I know it's never quite that simple, but let's all hope.
I used to hate playing at Selhurst Park and think that in all my years of playing there I came away victorious just the once and that was in my Leicester days.
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I've scored there quite a few times, but still didn't enjoy running out there. The playing surface was always shocking as they used to ground share with Wimbledon – unless you were lucky enough to face them there in the first month of the season when it was at its best.
I remember losing 5-1 there in October 1998, which was the heaviest defeat I had suffered down there. In my six appearances there for Norwich we came away with just one point, which shows just difficult we found it there.
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Anyway, going back to that hammering back in 1998, as you can well imagine, the changing room wasn't the best place to be.
Bruce Rioch had rightly torn us to shreds for what seemed like an eternity before he left to do his media duties.
Then, out of nowhere, Bryan Hamilton started having his say on how we'd let everyone down and what a shambolic bunch we were. He was well within his rights to have a go, but not many of the lads kept a straight face when he was ranting on.
Bryan had literally got out of the shower, put on his shoes and socks and nothing else when he started shouting at us. I know it shouldn't have been, but it was one of the funniest moments I've ever witnessed in my career.
We didn't know where on earth to look – the majority of us just looked straight down onto the floor as we really didn't want to burst out laughing in front of the assistant manager at a time when we really had nothing to laugh about.
To this day it still makes me laugh.
I've never had a telling off quite like it in my life – someone standing in front of you with nothing but their shoes and socks on, in all their glory, telling you a few home truths.
• THE BELIEF TO SURVIVE IS THERE TO SEE
Martin Olsson doesn't score often, and why should he? He is a left back, after all.
His last-minute goal last Saturday doubled his tally in the league for Norwich City and if he goes on to play for the club for the rest of his career he probably won't score a more important goal for the Canaries.
I guess a point against Newcastle wouldn't have been the end of the world, especially with the visitors scoring their second equaliser with just minutes remaining. But for the lads to not feel sorry for themselves and to show great character and resilience to win the game right at the death demonstrates they have the belief that they are capable of avoiding relegation.
Granted, they had a little bit of luck with the third goal as it did look as if not once, but twice, the ball came off Jonny Howson's arm. But let's be honest, they've had their fair share of poor decisions against them this season so it was nice, finally, to see one go City's way.
I loved Alex Neil's passion after that winning goal went in and I loved the way all the subs and staff came on to the pitch at full-time to celebrate together. That goes to show all of a sudden after a couple of good results there is great spirit in the squad, and why shouldn't there be? The team are now in their best run of form of the season.
It's only right to give a special mention to Timm Klose, who looks to be a fantastic addition since signing in January. He's very cool and composed and a good organiser – exactly what the team needed when they were going through a tough patch and he's most definitely strengthened the back.
If he carries on performing like he has done in the remaining last six games he surely has to start for Switzerland in the Euros.