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Spud Thornhill: Fans’ backing does wonders for a player’s confidence

PUBLISHED: 11:59 14 April 2018

Josh Murphy celebrates with James Maddison after scoring a belter against Aston Villa a week ago. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Josh Murphy celebrates with James Maddison after scoring a belter against Aston Villa a week ago. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

©Focus Images Limited www.focus-images.co.uk +447814 482222

We welcome Neil Warnock’s Cardiff City this weekend and, for the third time in eight days, Norwich will be trying to mess up another club’s must-win game, with Cardiff’s promotion aspirations still in their own hands.

Spud’s Teaser: Who was Neil Warnock managing when he won at Carrow Road for the first time?

(answer at bottom)

We welcome Neil Warnock’s Cardiff City this weekend and, for the third time in eight days, Norwich will be trying to mess up another club’s must-win game, with Cardiff’s promotion aspirations still in their own hands.

Since last Saturday, we have upset both Aston Villa and Sunderland in the quest for three valuable points.

So, hopefully we can also upset Cardiff City and, most importantly, Neil Warnock like we have done Villa and the Black Cats.

I’m sure some people may think we may have nothing to play for, but in this modern game I don’t think it works like that any more. I’m sure Daniel Farke and, more importantly, the team will be after those three points.

Last Saturday we saw what Josh Murphy is capable of, and I’m not just talking about his wonder goal. After watching most of the games at pitch level this season, I have witnessed close-up what the players do and how some crowd comments can affect them. One thing I do see from Murphy is that he is definitely a confidence player. I have been saying that about many players for years.

After his goal, Murphy just grew in confidence and played a massive part in the second half, especially being involved in the two other goals last Saturday.

Some fans might think it should be the players who provide the spark to start the support and that is possibly true. In my opinion, encouragement is a massive thing throughout any sporting event.

Tomorrow, I shall be running in my 10th half marathon, the City of Norwich Half Marathon. At the start, my wife Hayleigh will be encouraging me and wishing me luck and during the 13.1 miles and there will be plenty of people encouraging me in my quest to finish the race.

So, despite me being experienced at running half marathons, I still want people, like my wife, encouraging me. She’ll be like a football manager before a game. Then, whilst I’m running, the people on the side of the road will be encouraging me, as I need encouragement, just like footballers do during a game. Those people will be my fans in the stands.

For a couple of hours, I may imagine I’m a footballer – it’s the closest I will ever get.

Maybe Murphy is like me. He may be one of those footballers who needs the supporters to be with him. He may have recently made his 100th appearance for the club but he’s still only 23, and like many youngsters he will need all the fans to be with him. Sadly, some of the supporters’ comments towards Josh have been awful. Take it from me, you know he is hearing this and it can at the time effect his play.

I must say, I was disappointed to see a tweet from the official Norwich City account, following last Saturday’s win and Josh’s performance. The tweet insinuated Josh stating: “If you don’t love me at my……Then you don’t deserve me at my……”

I appreciate the person behind the tweet was only trying to support Murphy, but in my opinion it gives the people, especially keyboard warriors, the opportunity to make unnecessary comments.

This leads on to next season. I saw recently someone on social media had posted a potential Norwich team for next season where the majority of players are 23 years old or under. We have a lot of youngsters with a lot of potential and a lot of responsibility. Some of them who have been out on loan for the season have already learnt the importance of the responsibilities in a team. With the likes of Carlton Morris, Ben Godfrey and Remi Matthews playing massive parts in their respective teams’ successful seasons. Hopefully that’ll help us in the long term.

This is where we will have to play our part. We will need to be patient with them, support them throughout, don’t destroy them before their Norwich City careers have taken off.

So if you see me tomorrow, running around the Norwich Showground and surrounding area, give me all the encouragement and support as I hope you will do to players like Josh Murphy if you are at Carrow Road today.

He’s one of own…….

Spud’s Teaser answer: Notts County 1-0, April 1992.

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