Stringer’s plea to City fans

New boss Glenn Roeder must turn round Norwich City's worst start to a season in living memory to secure Championship survival.City's current total of just nine points is their lowest from the first 16 league games of any season in an unbroken run in the top two divisions that stretches back to 1960.

New boss Glenn Roeder must turn round Norwich City's worst start to a season in living memory to secure Championship survival.

City's current total of just nine points is their lowest from the first 16 league games of any season in an unbroken run in the top two divisions that stretches back to 1960.

Former manager Dave Stringer (pictured below) - who helped pilot City to safety in the old First Division during a five-year spell at the helm - has pleaded for everyone connected with the club to rally behind Roeder

"Everybody recognises the position we're in and the need to turn it round," he said. "As a manager, you are looking for that first win. We need a drastic change in results soon.

"When you start losing games, it is difficult to turn it round. It becomes a downward spiral and there is no magic formula. We need someone level-headed and experienced who has been through the situation before, as Glenn has. He's not been kidded by one result against Ipswich and he has a strong resolve and a pride in what he does. He will not allow anybody to slip and slide.

"He will want to bring new players in and he will be determined to get a response from the players because the whole future of the club is in their hands."

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For that reason, it was essential to back them, said Stringer.

"We have to take a positive view and get behind the manager and the players," he said. "My own feeling is that it hurts to think we are in this position. Everybody who's been at the club, is still involved at the club and the older players who live in this area and are involved in hosting matches, is hurt to think that what they helped to achieve could be taken away from them.

"It hurts everybody but the fans have been brilliant and the players are guaranteed their support provided they give 100pc effort. It's only if there is a lack of application that people start to point the finger."

As a City player, Stringer found himself at the wrong end of the table more than once. Only once, in 1974, did he suffer relegation with Norwich.

As manager, he took over a team with just 11 points from their first 15 games in Division One in 1987-88, and steered them to safety, bringing in new players and, along with coach David Williams, restoring the confidence of the existing ones.

"It was recognised at the time that things needed to change," he said. "After several meetings I was given the backing to go out and get players. In fact, the first two I brought in, John O'Neill and Robert Fleck, were injured early on, but having new players made the others in the squad want to go out and prove they were just as good. We won three games in a row at Christmas and that was when it really took off. The advantage I had was that I had players who had experience of playing in the first division and finishing high up."

One mitigating factor for the current City side was the lack of a settled line-up, said Stringer.

"You need your big characters, but looking at it, I don't think we have had everybody available for the same period of time because of suspensions and injuries," he said.