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Chris Goreham: Norwich City fans have good reason to be fickle

Relegations battles don't normally end well for Norwich City. Picture: Daniel Hambury/Sportsbeat Images

Relegations battles don't normally end well for Norwich City. Picture: Daniel Hambury/Sportsbeat Images

Sportsbeat Images

Norwich City supporters are often accused of being fickle.

The devastating feeling of relegation is an all too familiar feeling for Norwich City fans. Picture: Dylan MartinezThe devastating feeling of relegation is an all too familiar feeling for Norwich City fans. Picture: Dylan Martinez

In fact I remember one experienced former Canaries player remarking before we started recording a post-match interview a few seasons ago that he'd not come across a group of fans prone to such extreme mood swings in his long career.

To understand the true nature of this yellow and green roller coaster you have to have ridden it. The highs always feel incredible and the lows painful and bitter.

Take 2019 for example. In this year alone we have witnessed a Norwich City side smiling its way to what will go down as probably the most memorable, inspiring and remarkable promotions in the club's history.

The Canaries have also achieved what was widely accepted as their best one-off result of all time when they beat the mighty Manchester City 3-2 at Carrow Road in the Premier League.

Yet every silver lining has a cloud. The calendar year is threatening to end with a whimper. City are bottom of the Premier League, Daniel Farke has had to nurse his way through the mother of all injury crises and supporters have been left to endure a run of seven winless matches which has included just two consolation goals from Josip Drmic and Onel Hernandez in matches that were already lost.

It is still only November and there is plenty of time to save this season but it was difficult not to sympathise with fans who trudged out of Carrow Road after the 2-0 defeat by Watford feeling like the game was already up.

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Bitter experience doesn't allow Norwich City supporters to harbour hopes of a great escape. Whenever the Canaries have been embroiled in a proper relegation battle, certainly in recent years, they have always gone down. By the same token, whenever they have been in genuine contention for promotion they have always achieved it and gone up.

There's been no middle ground and certainly not much room for mid-table respectability.

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Even in 2002, when a penalty shoot-out defeat by Birmingham City in Cardiff saw Nigel Worthington's Canaries lose a play-off final, it was a season where our top six finish never really looked on until a stirring run right at the end of the regular season. Two years later he took City up as champions and in the next 15 years Paul Lambert (twice), Alex Neil and Daniel Farke would also get to experience views of Norwich city centre from on board an open top bus. Or at least Neil would have done if they'd had time to organise a parade after the 2015 play-off final but you get the point.

Worthington was also the man in charge when 'Survival Sunday' quickly became 'Surrender Sunday' in 2005 and a 6-0 final day defeat to Fulham sent City spiralling back down the Premier League plughole.

Even in 2013, when Chris Hughton's team only saw off the mathematical threat of relegation by beating West Brom in the penultimate match of the season, they actually went on to finish 11th in the table.

The other relegation battles have all been more real and all have been lost. Perhaps that's why the atmosphere around Carrow Road in the Premier League can sometimes be the living embodiment of the old adage that a pessimist is never disappointed. Those fans have been put through more dramas, good and bad, than the average family in Eastenders.

No-one can ever take away last season's promotion and all of those wonderful memories from Daniel Farke and his players. They were rightly lauded at the time and deserved all the applause and praise that came their way.

If they can plot a way out of the bottom three from where they are now they will deserve it all again because they would be accomplishing something that I have never seen a Norwich City team pull-off.

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