Our reporter is a lonely Canaries voice in the land of Magpies
- Credit: Archant
EDP and Evening News reporter (and Norwich City fan) David Hannant goes behind enemy lines in Newcastle.
Picture the scene: a packed Newcastle pub, in the closing minutes of one of the most significant Tyne-Wear derbies in recent memory.
The Toon Army are rattling on the door, in search of that decisive goal. All but one in the building is willing them on.
That one is me, desperately (and silently) begging for a draw.
If Alan wanted to be the Partridge among the pigeons, then I'm the Canary among the Magpies.
I am an Eastern Daily Press/Evening News reporter, currently on loan in Newcastle, putting me in an awkward situation.
Up here, there are Newcastle United fans, there are Sunderland fans, and then there is me.
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Particularly in Newcastle, there is just no escaping football. More often than not, the Toon Army occupies not only the back pages of the newspapers, but the front as well.
The place lives and breathes the beautiful game.
When visiting another place, I inevitably end up chatting football with a local. Normally, I will wish whoever they support well – the safest option.
However, the current relegation situation makes this nigh-on impossible.
As we all know, City have become the mustard in a north-east sandwich of a relegation battle, and Saturday's contest at Carrow Road is enormous.
A few weeks ago, the mood about Toon was bleak. However, with the addition of Rafa Benítez to the mix, a new sense of optimism has risen.
The Spaniard was all the rage on Derby Day – the city was awash with Rafa chants, Rafa masks, Rafa everything.
While Newcastle's performances have improved, one point from a possible six is hardly survival form.
To his credit though, since Rafa's arrival, City are unbeaten. Perhaps his introduction has given a lift to the wrong side (from a Toon perspective).
Come Saturday, I will be watching the match, likely in the same situation as Tyne-Wear Derby Day. Bottling up my emotions; spy-like. That afternoon, I was the happiest man in Toon. If this statement is still true at 5pm on Saturday, I would imagine I will be nursing some fairly numb palms!
David Hannant – sitting on his hands in Tyneside.