Fans' group still back City boss

A leading Norwich City supporters' group who were involved in last year's fans' revolt against Nigel Worthington have refused to become embroiled in a campaign against his successor, Peter Grant.

A leading Norwich City supporters' group who were involved in last year's fans' revolt against Nigel Worthington have refused to become embroiled in a campaign against his successor, Peter Grant.

The Canaries have slipped to 20th in the Championship after a strong of below par performances, culminating in Saturday shocker at Wolves.

But NCISA, the Norwich City Independent Supporters' Association - under fire from some quarters for a lack of a decisive response to the situation - insist it is too early to back public protests.

In a statement, NCISA said that with only seven league games gone it was too early for a “knee-jerk reaction”.

“The season is barely eight weeks old and we feel at this stage of the season that the right thing to do is back Peter Grant and his backroom staff,” said NCISA committee members Kathy Blake in the statement.,

“I am acutely aware that this is not what a lot of you want to hear, but be assured, however, that if things do not improve and we find ourselves, say, in the bottom six by Christmas, that NCISA may change its stance.

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“At the end of the day, if we are right to keep our powder dry right now, then we won't be smug and say 'I told you so'. If we are wrong, however, we will be the first to admit it and be humble enough to accept the ensuing criticism. We want success for this football club as much as the rest of the fans.”

Some internet message board posters accused NCISA of having too cosy a relationship with the club, but the organisation denied their views had been watered down as a result.

“Having listened to various view points this week, NCISA believes at present, just seven games into a 46-game season it is far too early for knee jerk reactions, demonstrations and calls for the manager's head,” added Blake.

“We do not feel that if Peter Grant did leave, his replacement would do much better under the current financial restrictions. And who would it be? What is Plan B? Martin Allen, Neil Warnock are names I have heard mentioned. The former is thought to have potential; but has had only limited success at Brentford and MK Dons. And as for Neil Warnock, well every time he visits Carrow Road he is met with a barrage of bile and vitriol. Hardly the ideal background for a new manager.

“This view I can assure you is nothing to do with us being 'cosy' with the football club. I feel certain if you ask (chief executive) Neil Doncaster, he will tell you that he has had a less than cosy relationship with members of the NCISA committee, including myself, over the past three or four years.”

NCISA say they are constantly in touch with the Norwich City board of directors over issues such as current form, but say that relationship is not an exclusive one.

“With the advent of modern technology it is easy for all fans to directly question officials at the football club as many of you have done,” added the statement. “Those of you who have done will know that Neil Doncaster is receptive to your opinions and almost always responds to emails.

“As a supporters' organisation we are in a position to have dialogue with the club on a regular basis but I would point out this is by no means restricted to us. As an association we try to gauge opinion particular at difficult times like the present. This isn't always easy.

“At the height of the Worthington crisis I was receiving a mixture of emails telling me either that NCISA wasn't active enough in getting rid of the manager, or that we were disloyal and anti-club.

“It is quite frankly a no-win situation. You cannot please all of the people all of the time. Our solution to this conundrum is to try to provide a platform for reasoned debate about what is going on. We did just that during the Worthington debate by organising a fans' meeting at St Andrews Hall which was attended by over 500 people.

“Long before the disappointing results and performances of the last two weeks we were in the process of organising a question and answer session with Peter Grant and Jim Duffy which will be open to all fans.”