Canaries’ fans need to remain positive

Our run of 10 Championship games undefeated has raised the spirits of Norwich City supporters in a way they may not have thought possible two months ago.

Glenn Roeder, Norwich City FC manager

Our run of 10 Championship games undefeated has raised the spirits of Norwich City supporters in a way they may not have thought possible two months ago.

In fact, after Tuesday night's 1-0 win at Southampton, some of them were pointing out that we were only nine points adrift of the top six with 17 matches to go.

But you won't find me making any bold predictions about where we may finish in the table in May.

If, in such a short space of time, we have changed the mood of our supporters from doom and gloom to hope and belief, I think that's fantastic.

I want our supporters to be positive people - to believe the glass is half-full, not half-empty.

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But it has always been my policy to look no further than the next game. We want to get as many points as we can and then, after 46 games, let's see where we are. We just have to wait and see.

I know from past experience that as soon as you start shouting the odds, the game has a habit of slapping you in the face and knocking you down.

You cannot start talking up results. No one will change my belief in talking about the next game only, and that game is Preston at home tomorrow.

But it's true that to have gone from where we were at the end of October to where we are now is fantastic.

When I arrived, the mood of doom and gloom was suffocating, like a mist hanging over the ground - horrible.

The club decided that they had to bring in an outsider who had not seen the first three months of the season and wasn't weighed down by what had gone before, or by other people's thoughts about the players or the situation.

I said I would wipe the slate clean and make my own judgments and I did. The only person I listened to was me.

There were a lot of players I didn't know much about and in some cases, I am only just finding out about them now.

Some players who may have wondered what the future held here have been in the side, playing games and playing well - others I have let go because I did not feel they were right for Norwich City, but we wish them well.

Whatever we achieve, in the end it's all down to players. Yes, the manager is the driver of the bus but when the bus stops it's the players who have to get off the bus and play.


My sympathies go to Manchester City over the nature of their FA Cup exit at Sheffield United, when they conceded a goal while the goalmouth at Bramall Lane was full of balloons.

I am afraid the referee got it badly wrong on this occasion. You should not start a game, or allow it to continue, until the pitch is clear of obstructions.

City have complained to the FA over the match officials' failure to clear the balloons, arguing that play should have been stopped. For United's first goal, the ball took a deflection off a balloon and wrong-footed defender Michael Ball, allowing Luton Shelton to score.

The referee, Alan Wiley, had asked goalkeeper Joe Hart to get rid of the balloons while play was at the other end of the pitch, but it is definitely not the job of the goalkeeper to go around popping balloons.

So Manchester City are knocked out of the FA Cup. There's only one chance and they have to wait another year. It must be absolutely sickening for them.

There are, of course, times when you have to cope with unusual interruptions on the field.

I remember playing for Queen's Park Rangers at Newcastle when we were leading 1-0 and someone let a Jack Russell on to the pitch.

A foul was committed in the game and the referee blew for a free-kick, but we then had to wait five minutes until somebody could catch the dog by diving on him. By the time the free-kick came in, we had lost concentration, we conceded a goal and ended up losing the game 3-1.

I remember another game when a fox ran on to the pitch, but I don't recall any problem with balloons. Toilet rolls - that was the fashion in my day. I can remember when they used to be unfurled from behind the goal. The worst place for that was the North Bank at Arsenal.


I was very surprised by all the hysteria about whether David Beckham should get his 100th England cap - and just as surprised that he was left out of Fabio Capello's first squad as national team manager.

I am 100 per cent convinced that David should get his 100th international cap. In fact, I don't see why he can't win 110 caps or more.

Steve McClaren initially left him out of his plans, but when he came back into the team he still looked one of England's best players, if not the best. He's only 32 and I think he's still got two seasons of international football in him.

Some people are trying to retire him too soon. I say that's rubbish, why shouldn't he play on? I don't know what all the fuss is about.

Some of the players who have been brought in to replace David are not in the same class.

I've worked with David and he is a brilliant human being and a brilliant footballer with the best right foot I have ever seen.

It doesn't make the slightest difference that he is playing in America with LA Galaxy if he is still the best man for his position.

When Trevor Brooking was an England international at West Ham, they were relegated and spent three seasons in the old second division before they returned to Division One. But he stayed with the Hammers, kept playing for England and kept producing outstanding performances. David Beckham can do the same.