Defiant Norwich City fans insist: We will be back

Norwich City fans leaving Carrow Road after seeing their team beat Watford, yet be relegated. Photo

Norwich City fans leaving Carrow Road after seeing their team beat Watford, yet be relegated. Photo : Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams

'We will be back' – that is the message from defiant Norwich City fans today as they face up to the grim reality of life back in the Championship.

The Canaries put up an impressive fight against Watford last night but City's relegation was sealed despite a 4-2 victory at Carrow Road.

Norwich's fate had been coming since the club slumped to a disastrous 3-0 home defeat to relegation rivals Sunderland last month.

And Sunderland putting three past Everton effectively put both Norwich and Newcastle to the Premier League relegation sword long before the final whistle at Carrow Road.

There was something of a carnival atmosphere in the second half among City fans as they tried to come to terms with the inevitable but make no mistake about it, relegation is a huge blow.

The club is set to miss out on between £90m and £100m in TV cash next season alone while the prestige of not being in English football's top flight is sure to also have an impact on tourism.

But fans remained optimistic about City's future, with many believing the club will make a return to the premiership.

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Nigel Sansom, 44, from Lowestoft, said: 'We will be back. We played brilliantly, but it is a pity we did not play like that all season. There was more fight in them tonight than there ever has been.'

Matt Newbold, 33, from Mattishall, was equally optimistic, adding: 'I have never said this before, but I do think we will come back up. [Alex] Neil knows the division and he will get us back out of it.'

Patrick Dwier from Beccles said last night's performance was one of the best this season.

'They played well today, but unfortunately Sunderland won 3-0,' the 65-year-old added. 'I would hope they will get to the play-offs, but it will be difficult as some players will go like [Timm] Klose.'

Julie Webster, 62, from Dereham, watched the relegation battle with granddaughter Dana, 17. She said: 'It is just one of those things and we have to go down. I don't mind it because I like the idea of being in the Championship as we will see more games like tonight and more goals.'

Tom Jacklin, 13, who was joined by his granddad Terry Wright, 66, said: 'Even though we have been relegated, there will be more games and there will be more goals. You have to look on the bright side.'

Other fans expressed concern about keeping hold of certain players, including influential centre-back Timm Klose. Sue Cassidy, 42, from Dereham, said: 'Whether they can hang on to him [Klose] will be a different matter. But if Alex Neil stays we will be there in the Premier League. I just don't want to go through those play-offs again.'

Macaulay Robinson, 20, who was with his granddad John Gilbert, 77, from Oulton Broad, said: 'It's disappointing to be relegated, but at least it will be an easy six points next season against Ipswich.'

Mr Gilbert added: 'I will still support them whatever happens. Tonight was the most exciting we have seen them in a long, long time.'

Match report and analysis – Sport

Comment – Page 34

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