Jack Reeve: Make no mistake, Norwich City are the real deal

City fans are starting to believe this could be their year, says Jack Reeve. Picture: Paul Chesterto

City fans are starting to believe this could be their year, says Jack Reeve. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Are Norwich City the real deal? If they're not already, they're certainly getting close to it.

Every single week I watch Norwich City expecting everything to come crashing down, maybe it's because of that Norfolk pessimism we're all full of, maybe because it's usually the outcome when we start getting excited about watching the Canaries.

However, this year feels a bit different. We've been faced with challenges every single week and we continue to overcome them.

Heading into the game against Bolton, I expected it to be easier than it was in the end. Credit has to go to the Championship strugglers who put up a real fight despite going through the month of November without getting paid.

Despite the late absence of Timm Klose, the first 60 minutes was all fairly routine and calm. Then we decided to turn back the clock and defend like we did under Alex Neil's second Championship campaign. I'm not going to pick out any of the defenders for the acres of space that were left for both Sammy Ameobi and Mark Beevers, I thought they all dealt remarkably well considering the average age of them was just over 21.

When that Bolton equaliser hit the back of the net with two minutes left on the clock however, Carrow Road reacted differently to what I've seen before. There was a rousing rendition of on the ball city and a genuine belief that if we could carve out another chance, we'd have the bottle to take it.

The rest is history, Teemu Pukki scored another memorable last-minute goal in front of the Barclay and Daniel Farke's men remain at the top of the table, so just how is this happening?

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Well us fans only get to see 90 minutes of our beloved team a week, but off the field there's a culture being forged, a team unity being built like never before and a genuine belief that anything is possible.

With that being said, it made me even more disappointed to hear Ian Abrahams say on TalkSport that it would be 'bad for English football' if Norwich City were to get promoted.

I can only assume that Mr Abrahams is conveniently forgetting that we've tried many a British manager and in our starting XI on Saturday, three of our starting XI were academy graduates.

What both us, and Leeds United are doing this season is putting full trust into a well thought out system and creating a culture around that, not chucking money at things and then employing a Sam Allardyce when everything goes wrong to then repeat the same cycle the following season.

With nearly half of the season gone and City top of the perch it would be wrong not to now consider us as genuine contenders to win the division. Over the past 10 seasons, every single team that has been in the position we are at this point of the season have gone up automatically, history is on our side here.

So, while some national journalists look from the outside to try and lambast us for trying something different, we know full well that not only is this incredibly exciting, but wholesome.

Everyone is pulling in the right direction, everybody has the same common goal and everybody knows what needs to be done in order to achieve what we want. When you have that formula and a heap load of talent to execute it, usually good things happen.

So, it's time for me to stop seeing us as 'little old Norwich' and start to seeing us as mavericks of the game. We're contenders.