Iwan Roberts: Turn up the volume - Norwich vs Sunderland is like the play-off finals all over again

Norwich City fans at Carrow Road. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Norwich City fans at Carrow Road. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015

We all know how big and important tomorrow's game is against Sunderland – probably as important as any that the club's had in recent years.

Personally, I think it's up there with both play-off finals, but we all need to realise that whatever the result is tomorrow afternoon, nothing is going to be decided – win, lose or draw.

I totally agree with Alex Neil's comments this week that if Norwich win they still aren't guaranteed Premier League survival.

But three points can go a long long way to achieving that goal. Even if the unthinkable happens and the lads lose the game, we all need to realise that there are four games left against teams that the lads are more than capable of picking points up against.

The atmosphere last time around at Carrow Road, against Newcastle, was unbelievable and I've no doubt it is going to be even louder tomorrow, which is just what the players want to run out to. Believe you me, as a player it makes a huge difference.


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I remember the atmosphere down at Carrow Road for the second leg of last season's play-off semi-final against that lot down the A140 – it was as loud a noise as I'd ever heard and I get the feeling that tomorrow is going to be louder than that brilliant day last May.

I loved playing in big games, but I hated the build-up the week before and all the talk leading up to the game.

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If you weren't careful you could stress yourself out before you'd kicked a ball and go out on to the pitch feeling drained, with no energy at all.

As a player, you have to block everything out in the build-up as everything is totally out of your control; you can't do anything apart from get your preparation spot on until it's time to take the field of play. And once that happens, then you can help try and control your own destiny with the help of your team-mates.

It will give everyone a massive boost tomorrow if the name Timm Klose is on the team sheet when it is revealed 60 minutes before kick-off. He left Selhurst Park on crutches, with his left knee heavily bandaged after he jarred it in a coming-together with one-time Norwich transfer target Dwight Gayle.

Klose has been outstanding and the back four looks much stronger with him in it. However, knee injuries take a while to recover from, especially if there is ligament damage and swelling.

I remember the only time I injured my knee, up at Hillsborough back in 2001, and how long it took me to get myself 100pc right. It was such an innocuous injury – I went up for a header and jarred my right knee as I landed. I tried to run it off, but there was no chance of me carrying on. Every time I went to take off with my right leg I had a shooting pain right through my knee. There wasn't much swelling, but I'd tore my medial ligament, which wasn't what I wanted to hear. The injury kept me out for six weeks in all.

Let's hope Klose isn't out for as long as if he is he won't play again this season, which would be a major blow to the team.

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