Jeremy Goss backs Norwich City to avoid repeating relegation nightmare

Jeremy Goss scores for City against Leeds in a 4-0 win at Elland Road in August 1993.Pictures: ARCHA

Jeremy Goss scores for City against Leeds in a 4-0 win at Elland Road in August 1993.Pictures: ARCHANT LIBRARY

Top-flight relegation still haunts Norwich City legend Jeremy Goss – but he is confident the current Canaries players will not have to suffer the same pain.

Jeremy Goss scores an East Anglian Derby winner at Carrow Road in 1993.

Jeremy Goss scores an East Anglian Derby winner at Carrow Road in 1993. - Credit: Archant

Victory over Southampton took Alex Neil's team to 23 points from 20 games, a position which many believe leaves them poised to push on and secure survival.

That is strengthened by a look at the Premier League history books, which suggest Norwich are well on course to avoid relegation back to the Championship.

Of the 70 teams to be relegated since the Premier League was launched in 1992, just four had managed 23 points in their first 20 games of the season.

Unfortunately for City fans, and Goss, the Norwich team of 1994/95 was one of those four examples.

Jeremy Goss and Mike Walker after knocking Bayern Munich out of the Uefa Cup in 1993.

Jeremy Goss and Mike Walker after knocking Bayern Munich out of the Uefa Cup in 1993. - Credit: Archant

After an initial strong start under former City striker and assistant manager John Deehan, taking 30 points from their first 20 games, the Canaries plummeted in the second half of that campaign.

'It still hits home, the desperation at the end of that season, I was just so disappointed. It was just so hard to take,' Goss said.

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'Gary Megson had taken over because John Deehan had resigned but Mike Walker resigning was the biggest shock. Letting him go after what we had achieved, I thought that was the biggest mistake. Dixie Deehan took over and did well at first. We all had respect for him and we performed magnificently and our thoughts were about getting into Europe again.'

With star players such as Chris Sutton, inset, and Ruel Fox being sold following Walker's departure, as City's financial situation became more perilous under chairman Robert Chase, Goss and his team-mates were fighting a very different battle to the current Canaries squad.

Relegation – with goalkeeper Bryan Gunn missing the second half of the season with a broken leg – was sealed with a 2-1 loss at Leeds and Goss hopes Neil's team will not repeat those mistakes.

'In the changing room after it really was horrible. I remember thinking on the coach on the way back that I never wanted to be in that position again,' the former Wales midfielder continued. 'We drew 1-1 against Villa and I scored the last goal, which was a personal achievement to have scored the last goal after nine years in the division, and then it was nine years before Darren Huckerby was scoring back there on the opening day of the season.'

Many supporters had high hopes that City would avoid the drop in 2014 as well, staying outside of the relegation zone for the vast majority of the season. Goss, who made 238 appearances for the Canaries between 1984 and 1996, is confident Neil will not allow complacency to creep in to the club this time though.

'It's never over until the last game and the last points have been achieved, but I think Norwich have been outstanding,' the 50-year-old continued. 'They were unlucky not to beat some of the bigger clubs and did incredibly well to beat Manchester United.

'I thought the second-half performance against Everton (1-1), to close down and to press and drive forward and to really take the game by the scruff of the neck, I thought showed that the players have got the drive that's needed and are playing for each other. I most certainly think they will stay up.'

Relegated teams

Of the 70 teams to be relegated from the Premier League, only four have been relegated who had at least 23 points after 20 games, as Norwich City have achieved this season.

• Middlesbrough, 1993 (having had 26 after 20 games)

• Norwich, 1995 (30 points)

• Sunderland, 1997 (23 points)

• Blackpool, 2011 (25 points)

1992/93 Final points (after 20 games)

Crystal Palace 49 (21)

Middlesbrough 44 (26)

Nottm Forest 40 (15)

(Norwich finished third on 73 points, had 39 after 20 games)

1993/94

Sheff Utd 42 (17)

Oldham 40 (18)

Swindon 30 (11)

(Norwich finished 12th on 53 points, had 34 after 20 games)

1994/95

C Palace 45 (22)

Norwich 43 (30)

Leicester 29 (14)

Ipswich 27 (13)

1995/96

Man City 38 (16)

QPR 33 (18)

Bolton 29 (10)

1996/97

Sunderland 40 (23)

Middlesbrough 39 (18)

Nottm Forest 34 (14)

1997/98

Bolton 40 (21)

Barnsley 35 (15)

C Palace 33 (22)

1998/99

Charlton 36 (16)

Blackburn 35 (18)

Nottm Forest 30 (13)

1999/2000

Wimbledon 33 (22)

Sheff Weds 31 (10)

Watford 24 (14)

2000/01

Man City 34 (19)

Coventry 34 (19)

Bradford 26 (12)

2001/02

Ipswich 36 (18)

Derby 30 (19)

Leicester 28 (16)

2002/03

West Ham 42 (15)

West Brom 26 (16)

Sunderland 19 (18)

2003/04

Leicester 33 (19)

Leeds 33 (17)

Wolves 33 (15)

2004/05

C Palace 33 (15)

Norwich 33 (15)

Southampton 32 (14)

2005/06

Birmingham 34 (16)

West Brom 30 (19)

Sunderland 15 (6)

2006/07

Sheff Utd 38 (20)

Charlton 34 (13)

Watford 28 (12)

2007/08

Reading 36 (22)

Birmingham 35 (19)

Derby 11 (7)

2008/09

Newcastle 34 (22)

Middlesbrough 32 (20)

West Brom 32 (18)

2009/10

Burnley 30 (20)

Hull 30 (18)

Portsmouth 19 (14)

2010/11

Birmingham 39 (22)

Blackpool 39 (25)

West Ham 33 (17)

2011/12

Bolton 36 (16)

Blackburn 31 (14)

Wolves 25 (17)

(Norwich finished 12th on 47 points, having had 25 after 20 games)

2012/13

Wigan 36 (18)

Reading 28 (13)

QPR 25 (10)

(Norwich finished 11th on 44 points, having had 25 after 20 games)

2013/14

Norwich 33 (20)

Fulham 32 (19)

Cardiff 30 (18)

2014/15

Hull 35 (19)

Burnley 33 (17)

QPR 30 (19)

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