Fan View: Norwich City
Ahead of Norwich's visit to St Andrews on Saturday, Rob Wildey caught up with Canaries fan, and Editor of norwichcity.myfootballwriter.com, Gary Gowers.
ARE THE NORWICH FANS STILL BEHIND ALEX NEIL?
Most definitely. He made mistakes last season - and admitted as much - but the prospect of him departing as a result of relegation never came up and was never even a topic of discussion amongst the fans. At 34, he's still learning his trade but has more than a little something about him that suggests he's going to be a top manager. We're 100 per cent behind him .... at least for now!
WHAT WOULD REPRESENT A GOOD SEASON FOR NORWICH?
Promotion - simple. Anything less would be deemed as failure. Equipped with a squad that, minus Nathan Redmond (ever heard of him?), competed with the majority in last season's PL and with the financial muscle afforded by the parachute payments, we have to be there or thereabouts. To not make those advantages count would be a disaster for club. That's not to say it *will* happen - we're more than capable of punching below our weight - but to drop outside of the top six would be to fail.
WHAT DID YOU MAKE OF YOUR DERBY DAY DRAW WITH IPSWICH?
Dreadful game. Good point. Relief.
They haven't beaten us since the 1860s so we were all half-expecting it to finally be their day. We didn't play well, they probably played as well as they possibly could, yet we still emerged with a point. Hence the relief.
WHAT IS YOUR OPINION OF OUR OLD BOY, CAMERON JEROME?
Love him to bits. His work-rate and willingness to tirelessly run the channels has endeared him to most and there's no doubt he'll get his fair share of goals in the Championship, where you simply get more chances. He struggled however in the Prem where goal-scoring opportunities are like gold dust. He wasn't clinical enough. But as a Championship striker he fits the bill nicely.
IF YOU COULD SIGN ONE BIRMINGHAM PLAYER FOR THE NORWICH SQUAD, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
Sounds awful, but am not as au fait with your squad as I should be. No doubt there'll be a few names who'll be swilling around my head after Saturday! But Clayton Donaldson is one who has caused us problems in the past, as tends to be the case with big ol' centre forwards who put themselves about.
WHICH NORWICH PLAYER SHOULD BIRMINGHAM BE WARY OF?
As mentioned, Jerome has started the season quite well but our most creative player is Wes Hoolahan. Stop Wes and you quell a fair bit of our threat going forward. We also carry a threat out wide with the Murphy twins and summer signing, Sergi Canos, all offering Alex Neil options on either flank. Jonny Howson is another who seems to improve with age.
NORWICH ARE HOTLY TIPPED FOR PROMOTION, DO YOU THINK THEY STAND A GOOD CHANCE?
I think we stand a decent chance but in this league - as we've learned to our cost in the past - nothing can be taken for granted. We're just as capable of imploding as we are of excelling, so it's a tricky one to call. We *should* do well - but that only happens if everything clicks.
WHAT IS YOUR PREDICTION FOR THE GAME?
I have to go for a Norwich win but it'll be tight and after you losing to Wolves it'll doubly difficult for us. I'm going for a scrappy, nail-biting 2-1 to the Canaries (never fear though, I'm crap at predictions).
Gary is the Editor of - www.norwichcity.myfootballwriter.com