Iwan Roberts: My one regret over Canaries' 2004 promotion
- Credit: Â© ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHI
Less than a month of what’s been a grueling slog of a season to go and Norwich have five massive games in front of them which will determine whether they will win their second Championship title in three years.
If I’m honest the title is done and dusted with an eight-point cushion over second-placed Watford. It’s hard to see the lads slipping up at the final hurdle.
Having come this far you now want to go up as champions, something I was lucky to achieve back in 2004 with a special group of lads.
Back then we were in a race with WBA to the title, if I’m being honest in those last two or three months they were never really in the race and a run of four wins in our final five games put any chance the Baggies had to bed and crowned us champions by eight points.
I don’t think this group of players need four wins from their final five games to allow Grant Hanley to lift that famous old trophy aloft on the last day at Barnsley. Hopefully it will be over sooner so he can do that the week before at Carrow Road before the Reading game.
I think it would be a fitting end if this Norwich team got to that magical 100 points mark after the way they’ve performed this season, not many teams who’ve won the Championship have managed to reach that points tally.
Looking back, we dropped some bad points against certain teams. Bradford who finished second from bottom took four points from us, beating us 1-0 at Carrow Road. We lost to bottom half teams like Cardiff and Nottingham Forest, teams like Preston, Rotherham and Coventry all took points from us and they all finished 12th or lower in the league.
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Looking back maybe we should have joined the likes of Sunderland, Fulham, Newcastle and Leicester and the best of the lot the Reading side of 2005-06 who amassed a magnificent 106 points. Mind you they do like reminding people quite often that they hold the record of most points won in a season in The Championship!
If the lads are going to make it to 100 points from their 46 league games, they sure are going to have earned it with these last five fixtures. Having had a good few weeks’ of games which they were expected to be winning against some of the poorer sides in the division Norwich are probably now coming to the toughest run of games of their season, starting tomorrow with in from Bournemouth visiting Carrow Road.
The Cherries have come right into form at just the right time. Back in January and February they looked like they might miss out on a play-off position when they lost six of nine games winning just two of those nine which saw Jason Tindall replaced with Jonathan Woodgate.
If I’m honest I was surprised Bournemouth appointed Woodgate as he’d had a bit of a disaster in his first managerial job with his home town club Middlesbrough. He had a win ratio of just 21.95 percent which probably would see any manager lose his job but he’s definitely turned Bournemouth’s fortunes around since taking over.
His win ratio is a more than respectable 62.50 percent and that’s why Bournemouth are now sitting in fifth position having won their last five games, scoring 14 goals in the process and conceding just three.
It’s got the makings of a classic encounter between two teams that harboured ambitions of winning this league back in September. Sadly for Bournemouth fans their players have been far too inconsistent over the course of the season, unlike the Norwich boys who have rarely let their very high standers drop.
Seeing as Bournemouth are one of just five clubs to beat the Canaries this season Daniel Farke and his players owe them one.