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Norwich City supporter Ed Seaman assesses what the Canaries need to do to preserve their Premier League status

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As the Premier League makes its long-awaited, yet much-debated return, the size of the task facing us is clear for all to see.

Six points adrift with nine games to play, Daniel Farke’s side will need to pull off what the German has repeatedly described as a ‘little miracle’ in order to avoid relegation.

Of course, while the fundamentals remain the same, it will not be football as we know it.

Edward Seaman Across the Border: Norwich columnist (36749334)
Edward Seaman Across the Border: Norwich columnist (36749334)

The set of circumstances amid which ‘Project Restart’ takes place can only be described as unprecedented – with empty stadiums and artificial crowd noises a far cry from a much-loved matchday experience.

It is difficult to predict how players and teams will adapt to the ‘new normal’ – but you cannot shy away from the importance of City overcoming these challenges and getting off to a winning start – if the club is to achieve something special.

Behind the scenes, the coaching staff will have been working meticulously to ensure Farke’s boys are in the best possible physical condition, bearing in mind the length of time since their last competitive outing.

Preparations culminated in a 2-1 friendly win against Spurs last Friday, but the news a City player tested positive for Covid-19 after the game presented a timely reminder of the very real threat still posed by the virus.

While the player in question, Marco Stiepermann, has now returned two negative tests and been given permission to return to team training, he will of course miss the fixture against Southampton as a result of the Premier League’s protocol on the issue.

Whatever your opinion on the decision to allow football to return, it will certainly bring a welcome distraction to the struggles many people continue to face during the Covid-19 pandemic.

At a time when we are more apart than ever before, the game we love has a way of bringing people together – even as we adapt to life as armchair supporters. So let’s get this show on the road!

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