Hope has been restored at Norwich City so let’s get rid of negativity for run-in
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Canaries columnist Matt Howman hopes gaining an unexpected point against Manchester City will prove to be a springboard to survival.
The performance against Manchester City could prove to be pivotal in Norwich's bid for survival.
The team rallied together to keep the likes of Sergio Aguero and David Silva at bay and earn what may be an invaluable point come the end of the season.
What appears to be the overriding feeling post-match from those connected to Norwich City is hope. From a lot of the fans, myself included, there was a lot of pre-match negativity towards our team and I'm ashamed to admit I was writing us off before the match had even begun.
As fans we spend all week expressing our views, debating who we think should be the starting XI. The pundits write column inches every week about our performances, win or lose and the backroom staff spend all year analysing what happened in every game minute by minute. The fact is, over the course of 30 games, we haven't been good enough to stay in the division.
Those games are gone now and there's nothing that can be done about that. It is now essential that Alex Neil and all the players in the club use the performance from Saturday as a foundation to take into the final eight games and show the rest of the division that Norwich City deserve to be a Premier League team.
Prior to the Manchester City game I was struggling to identify who we could look to to get us out of our dismal run of form. But on Saturday Gary O'Neil was immense, Timm Klose and Johnny Howson, inset, too. The final eight games call for experienced heads, leaders and perhaps a touch of youthful ambition in Patrick Bamford.
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I still stand by what I've said previously, whatever happens the board need to keep Neil in charge.
Then regardless of whether we stay up or go down the priority needs to be recruiting a team around him that will enable him to develop as a manager and coach our players to be the best version of themselves.
Football is, and always will be, a results sport and for every manager in those top 92 clubs, their career will inevitably live or die by those results. Football has evolved so much over the past few years that so many of the club's decisions fall to those behind the scenes and more often than not it is the manager who sits in the spotlight for them.
Rightly or wrongly, Neil has been taking his fair share of criticism from the fans of late and I would just urge supporters to look at the bigger picture.
With the right team and the right players, he will take our club on to bigger and better things.
If we don't stick with him, he'll only end up doing it somewhere else.