Spud Thornhill: Not for people of a nervous disposition
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
As football fans, we can be funny old people.
Our opinions and our emotions can change very quickly, and I suppose I’m no different to most. Even if half the time I am too optimistic for my own good.
I’ll always try and put a positive spin on any situation and try and put a smile on life to find a way to tell people it is going to be okay.
I am the complete opposite when everybody gets all excited and confident. It makes me more nervous when others are all confident of a win. I suppose it goes back to the FA Cup semi-final when we played Sunderland in 1992. When we were in the old Division One and Sunderland were struggling in Division Two.
For ones too young or not about back then, we were firm favourites to win the game. It seemed everybody was already planning the trip to Wembley for the FA Cup final. I believed all those who were saying how we were easily going to get past Sunderland - only for us to lose 1-0. Ever since then I’ve been cautious when we play and when many fans are expect us to win.
And that is how I felt last Saturday as I walked to Carrow Road. Following our win over Southampton, many people thought we would easily get past Wolves, despite the fact they were sixth in the table and in excellent form.
Before the game I would definitely have taken a point - by the final whistle I was, like many, disappointed that we didn't take more. Our attitude on the pitch was spot on. However much of a fan I was of Daniel Farke, I always felt we gave far too much respect to the teams in the Premier League than we would have done in the Championship.
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Dean Smith's arrival has been a fresh breath of air with the way he has been so honest in his interviews - I expect he is the same in the dressing room. It appears he has already started changing our attitude on the pitch - we are a lot more aggressive in our play.
I love how we are going to try and get into these teams, especially at home when the onus is on us.
One player I have really taken to is Brandon Williams. In the last few years we have been blessed in the left back department - I really liked Jamal Lewis and now Dimi Giannoulis, with their attacking finesse, but they have maybe lacked the aggressiveness of Williams, which he has definitely showed this season. No more so than the last two home games.
Williams’ link-up play with Milot Rashica has really brought out the best in them both. We really missed Rashica on Tuesday at Newcastle - maybe his absence played a part in Williams not being at his best. So you could see it needed to change - and bringing on Giannoulis proved an excellent change.
Great to see Lukas Rupp have a great game too. Yes, I must admit I was gutted that Matthias Normann came off injured last week. I did fear the worst, but what a shift Rupp put in.
In a short space of time we are looking tougher to beat.
My only concern is up front. Teemu Pukki really needs to be wrapped up in cotton wool between games. Not only do we need to keep him injury free, but Smith needs to work very hard on the likes of Josh Sargeant and Adam Idah to support him.
We have been told there may not be much activity in the January transfer window, which I get after the busy deals of the summer, so maybe Smith will have to work even harder in that department.
But one thing I am sure of is that our survival hopes are really looking brighter game by game... just don’t tell me that!