Norwich City column: Evolution the key as City plot way back up

Columnist Edward Seaman

Columnist Edward Seaman

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It was somewhat fitting of this season that after all the unlikely optimism caused by last week's stylish relegation, Norwich City would end on such a damp squib.

The 3-0 defeat at Everton is not one that will live long in the memory, but in truth, it's not a result anyone is going to lose any sleep over.

As is the evolving nature of the game, the focus has already shifted to next season and the fight to get back to the Premier League.

I'm delighted to see Alex Neil fully committed to leading us into that battle and it's now a race to ensure City are ready to hit the ground running come August.

Naturally, there will be comings and goings over the summer, including a few tough decisions over some of the longer serving players, but for me it's a case of evolution rather than revolution.

Whether Timm Klose departs or not, it's clear that central defence remains a problem area, and with Cameron Jerome City's only contracted striker (who has played this year), additions are also needed up top.

That said, there is still a good core to this squad. I look in particular at Jonny Howson, Robbie Brady, Wes Hoolahan, Matt Jarvis, Martin Olsson and Ivo Pinto, all players I expect to remain at the club, and all of whom capable of dominating the Championship. For what it's worth, I'd also offer Gary O'Neil a new contract.

However, it's important to supplement experience with youth, including the few remaining survivors of the FA Youth Cup win.

Josh Murphy has excelled at MK Dons but if he, twin Jacob, Carlton Morris and Harry Toffolo don't get a chance next season, quite frankly they never will. Add James Maddison and Louis Thompson to that list, and the future does still look bright for City.

But that's that for this season. Enjoy the summer ahead of what promises to be another long, hard Championship slog.