Norwich City fan Edward Seaman says: We were caught playing occasion, not the match

Columnist Edward Seaman
Columnist Edward Seaman

Last Friday’s 1-0 defeat at the hands of Middlesbrough was one of the toughest to take in recent years and not one I want to dwell on.

What I will say on the game is that I thought we played well but were punished for our slow start. It almost seemed as if Alex Neil’s men were playing the occasion and not the match.

If I was to be critical, Neil made the wrong substitutions.

It’s all good looking back now but I’d have brought on Nathan Redmond as opposed to Lewis Grabban, who did not look fit. At that stage of the match, City were finding space in the wide areas for Redmond to exploit.

I would have also left Wes on as his departure seemed to coincide with City’s loss of creativity and ability to recycle possession.

On Boro, there was a lot of criticism of their game plan but at this stage of the season, three points are all that matters and they defended well and ultimately achieved that goal.

Sheffield Wednesday’s late goal against Bournemouth still gives me hope that we can make the top two, although it’s a long shot.

If we are to achieve that, it is clear that we have to win both our remaining fixtures, starting with Rotherham tomorrow.

We would have to rely on the teams around us slipping up but stranger things have happened in football, so we’ve got no choice but to keep the faith.

Before Friday, City were on a five match winning run and whatever happens, if we can re-produce that form, we will be a Premier League side come May.

Friday was a set-back, but we need to learn from that with big games coming thick and fast over the next month.

Congratulations to Wes Hoolahan, who made the Football League Team of the Decade. Wes has been a fantastic servant to the club, being instrumental in two promotions, and for me is one of the most gifted players we have seen at Carrow Road in a long time.