Jack Reeve: Support the team but don’t shy away from speaking your mind on City

Onel Hernandez didn't have his best afternoon in a Norwich City shirt against Wigan. Picture: Paul C

Onel Hernandez didn't have his best afternoon in a Norwich City shirt against Wigan. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City got to the top of the league through patience, togetherness and a willingness to fight like no other.

What I saw at the DW Stadium on Sunday had all of those traits and it’s the reason I’m so confident in saying that we’re already promoted.

With four games left of this season, City currently sit four points clear of second place Leeds United and seven clear of third-placed Sheffield United. That basically means that two more wins will secure promotion, if we were to only pick up 4 points in the final games, it would mean Sheffield United would have to win all of their games to pip us to the Premier League.

You can dig into the maths all you like, but there’s a reason most bookies have either suspended bets on us getting promoted or the odds are so short it’s not even worth backing. We’re still showing no signs of faltering despite many challenges being thrown at us.

What does frustrate me however is that fans are seemingly no longer allowed to critically debate what they see on the pitch.

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I’ll be the first to say that Onel Hernandez and Marco Stiepermann were very poor at the weekend, it doesn’t mean that I don’t like them or want them to be dropped, it simply means they were below the standards that we’ve come to expect this season.

If fans start to shoot down the ability for others to call out poor play when they see it, you reach a very dangerous place.

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There will be plenty of times next season in the Premier League when players don’t step up to the plate, that shouldn’t be applauded, but instead called out so people can improve.

Support the team, but please don’t shy away from speaking your mind when you see it - that’s what fans do.

On the whole though, I was once again encouraged by what was on show in Wigan. Having travelled up the day before to spend a weekend in the north with some friends, it was so lovely to see the whole of Wigan covered in yellow and green.

I can’t quite remember a time where everybody walked around with such high spirits when it comes to the club. I’ll hold the memories from Saturday night for a long time. Every pub you went into had City fans in, being 300 miles from home yet still bumping into familiar faces on a day where we weren’t even playing felt really special, that’s how far we’ve come.

In terms of on the pitch, it was far from perfect but we once again battled. Taking two points from Reading and Wigan on paper is a poor return, but considering the circumstances it’s not the end of the world.

It’s clear that we miss Emi Buendia. ‘You don’t know how good you’ve got it until it’s gone’ - that phrase rings true for Emi. His ability to create something out of nothing was needed in the previous two games.

Todd Cantwell has stepped into the role well however, he showed his raw ability earlier on in the campaign with a wonderfully taken goal and some marvellous assists. To step back into the team having been out for so long is never going to be easy, especially when he’s trying to fill the shoes of Emi. Todd should be applauded and if you were there on Sunday, you’ll know 99 percent of fans appreciate him.

Not a week goes by where Teemu Pukki doesn’t get a mention either. I’m yet to think of a better free transfer in British football history, he’s now contributed to 38 league goals this season, that’s more than any Championship player at this stage in the season since 2000. He’s remarkable and his well taken goal has put us one step closer to achieving what could only be described as an audacious dream a few months back.

So keep on supporting your team in whatever way you like and don’t criticise others who follow their beloved club in a way that differs from yours. One City Strong.

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