If Saturday’s defeat by West Brom left some Norwich fans at panic stations, then Tuesday night’s spirited effort against Everton certainly renewed some of that early season optimism which has plunged into darkness alongside the autumn evenings.
Ultimately we paid the penalty but after three straight league defeats – and Saturday’s especially poor performance – it was promising to see Alex Neil’s men impose themselves again.
Gary O’Neil was a big factor behind that. His experience and leadership really rubs off on those around him and his composure give flair players the chance to shine.
It’s difficult to compare O’Neil with Alex Tettey because both are different players, but with City playing the possession game, perhaps the former is worthy of a chance in the league.
And with Youssouf Mulumbu’s timely, and impressive, return, it leaves Neil with a selection headache.
Equally promising was how well Sebastien Bassong and Ryan Bennett dealt with Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian powerhouse predator was kept quiet – and it bodes well ahead of the battle against Wilfried Bony tomorrow.
It also means that in two games (210 minutes) the pair have only conceded twice – a certain improvement.
Tomorrow’s trip to Man City is a game to nothing. Without sounding downbeat, it will likely be a fourth league defeat in a row.
However, there is no need to panic. Most teams will go through a bad spell, it’s about how we react, not only as a team, but as a club.
I’ve seen too many negative comments in recent weeks, and quite frankly at times the atmosphere are Carrow Road is so nervy and flat.
My message to those fans who are quick to criticise is: remember what this team achieved last season, remember Wembley, remember the support we gave them in the best of times and match that when the players really need it most – make Carrow Road an intimidating place to visit.
That support could make all the difference.