Canaries usually take it steady in last third of season

The joke is that City are like the fairy lights on the tree - they go down after Christmas. It's a line that can be applied to any situation and many teams.

The joke is that City are like the fairy lights on the tree - they go down after Christmas.

It's a line that can be applied to any situation and many teams.

But what are City like in the final third of the season?

Perhaps it's best to start the ball rolling with the glorious campaign of 2003-04, when City hit the top spot just before Christmas and stayed there: between February and the end of the campaign, they won 12 drew two and lost just three of their remaining 17 games.

The Premiership season saw City double their points tally in the final third of the campaign - having taken 24 games to get 16 points on board, they perked up, won five home games and drew one away, although their away form remained dire and they lost another half dozen on the road.

Of course, the one that will live long in the memory is the 6-0 capitulation at Fulham on the final day - a day which started with a draw possibly being enough, but ended in the knowledge that the first away win of the season would needed.

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It didn't come and City went down - 19th position in January and 19th position in May.

Since then it's been pretty much a constant grind.

The first season back in the Championship saw City finish in ninth place, a climb of three spots in the final 15 games of the campaign.

But away form was again a problem - they lost four of their seven trips, drawing two and winning just one, at Cardiff on the last trip.

Season 06-07 saw City start February in 16th place - and occupy the same spot in May.

Home form was mixed - a couple of wins, but home defeats by title-chasing Derby, West Brom and Southampton. However, three wins away from home was encouraging.

A fairly average pot of results it may have been, with it maintained City's position - and if they can do that this time around it will be job done.

Then, of course, we come to last season, when it really should have been wrapped up by mid-February. Glenn Roeder came in, sorted things out, and set City on an unbeaten run of 13 games. It unravelled at Leicester, where City lost 4-0, but after that the Canaries managed to win four of their final 13 games, and lose eight.

It meant for a hairy finish, with survival only secured on the final home game of the season, where 10-man QPR were beaten 3-0.

City finished 17th - one place worse off than they'd been at the end of January.

Different teams, different players - little can be read into previous seasons.

But what is clear is that City's position rarely differs in the final third - last season was the first time in five seasons they'd dropped a place.

On one occasion - 05-06 - they went up three, but on the other occasions they didn't move.

How many would settle for that this time around?