Pressure is off so Norwich City can go express themselves
07:30 31 March 2012
Saturday’s victory against Wolves and the three points that came with it means the Canaries are now on 39 points with eight games remaining.
This leaves the boys a comfortable 14 points above the relegation places.
I think the win last Saturday guarantees that the lads will be playing Premier League football next season, and you the supporters will once again be making the journey to the likes of Old Trafford, Anfield and the Emirates Stadium.
Personally, I thought it was fitting that Grant Holt scored both the goals that have most likely secured the club’s status in the top tier of English football.
Don’t get me wrong, all the lads have played a massive part in reaching that magical total, but as in the past two seasons Holty’s contribution in front of goal has been invaluable in winning some priceless points for the football club.
His goals are always vital as well, signified by the fact that his goals have earned City 13 points this season, only bettered by Robin Van Persie (22 points) in the Premier League.
His first on Saturday was a quality finish; had it been Messi, Ronaldo or Wayne Rooney who had kept his cool to calmly lift the ball over the oncoming Wayne Hennessey to head the ball into an open goal, I’m sure people would have been talking about it for weeks.
Tomorrow sees a trip to the capital with a game against Fulham. It’s the first time the club has been back to Craven Cottage since that fateful day back in May 2005.
It was the final game of a very tense season and the Canaries knew that victory against Fulham would mean Premier League survival. I wasn’t at the game as my son Ben had his first cup final in Tonbridge, but over 6,000 Norwich City fans went down to support the team and were sorely let down. It was the worst performance of the season with Fulham scoring six goals with no reply, resulting in relegation to the Championship for the club after just one season in the top flight.
There’s never an easy way to be relegated but this performance and result was a very bitter pill for the fans to swallow.
Martin Jol’s men are only three points behind Norwich and are a good side at home, even though they were completely outplayed in their last game at the Cottage when Swansea hammered them by three goals to nil.
That was only their fourth home defeat the others coming against Manchester United, Spurs, and Everton, and out of their 37 goals scored this season in the league, 29 of those have come on their home turf.
Fulham have lost their last three games so maybe it’s a good time to be playing them and a good opportunity for the lads to jump back up to eighth position and put faltering Liverpool under even more pressure.
Now that the club is virtually safe the lads can go into the remaining eight games with no pressure and attempt to win as many points as they can, gaining that all-important prize money for higher positioning.
I am not for one minute saying relax and take your foot off the pedal as Paul Lambert would never let them do that but it’s a great achievement that the club is in such healthy league position at the end of March.