Poll results: Fear of failure must not hinder potential glory for Norwich City supporters

Mark Rivers celebrates equalising for Norwich City during their 3-1 win over Wolves in the Division

Mark Rivers celebrates equalising for Norwich City during their 3-1 win over Wolves in the Division One play-off semi-final first leg at Carrow Road in April 2002. Picture: Natasha Lyster - Credit: Eastern Counties Newspapers

As the play-offs loom for Norwich City, David Freezer encourages fans to not fear the possible pitfalls.

Success rarely comes without the risk of failure – but many Norwich City supporters look to be conquering any potential play-off fears already.

Canaries fans have little experience of the 'lottery' of the play-offs – we'll come back to that – but that can work in one of two ways.

City have competed in the play-offs just once, having clambered into sixth place in the Division One table on the final day of the 2001/02 season.

All connected with the club then subsequently experienced the potential joy and pain of the end-of-season knockout competition. The high of winning 3-1 at home against Wolves in the first leg of the semi-finals and battling heroically to only lose 1-0 at Molineux, to secure a place in the final, was so nearly followed by even greater memories.

When Iwan Roberts brilliantly headed City in front in extra-time against Birmingham in the final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, it looked like the play-off dream was about to be realised.

The raucous celebrations of the Canaries faithful under the closed roof of the Welsh national stadium were silenced 11 minutes later by Birmingham's Geoff Horsfield and penalty shootout heartbreak followed.

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Thirteen years have now passed though, with later spells in the top flight easing that pain, and now another chance for glory awaits Alex Neil's squad of 2015.

However, the impending play-off campaign – as mentioned earlier – should not be considered a 'lottery' chance at gaining promotion.

Since Neil's appointment, City's players proved they were more than capable of automatic promotion.

That they were not able to achieve that aim owes as much to the failings of the previous regime and points dropped at home early in the season, as it does to them running out of steam recently.

Winning 14 and drawing four of Neil's 21 matches in charge proves that City know what it takes to win in this division – a ratio of two wins in every three. As the Canaries squad of 2002 proved, that can still be enough to win the play-offs.

And it seems many City supporters are already looking forward to another play-off push.

With the prospect of meeting arch rivals Ipswich looming, we asked users of www.pinkun.com whether they would welcome that potentially nerve-wracking fixture.

The majority (39%) voted for 'absolutely, bring it on' but plenty (26%) voted for 'no, I'm terrified'. Of the other votes, 19% would only want to meet the Blues in the semi-finals and 16% only in the final.

It is time for the minority to join the majority in puffing their chests out and declaring their faith in Neil's team though. Uniting in that belief could prove vital in filling the City players with the confidence they need.

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