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Norwich City column: Borja Sainz providing the magic to help Canaries on Sky Bet Championship play-off push

For all the trials and tribulations of this season, and the intense criticism the club has faced, the mood inside of Norwich City has always appeared to remain upbeat.

Even on some of the darkest days (there have been a few), we were repeatedly told that this group of players fully believed they could - and would - turn the tide.

In truth, that optimism has been nauseating at times - as well as feeling grossly misplaced.

Norwich City columnist Edward Seaman has been impressed with Borja Sainz’s recent form.
Norwich City columnist Edward Seaman has been impressed with Borja Sainz’s recent form.

If you'd have told me after the dismal 1-0 defeat at Millwall in late December, which left us in the bottom half of the table, we'd still be speaking about the play-offs as a possibility, I probably would have laughed in your face.

But amazingly, that's the position we find ourselves in.

David Wagner has come under serious pressure in recent months, and in the same way that was justified, you have to give him credit for the recent upturn in form.

The 2-1 victory against Coventry made it 10 points from five games - all against sides currently in the top seven.

As that run has developed, there has been a tangible growth in confidence both on the pitch and in the stands.

The scenes that greeted the full-time whistle against the Sky Blues was testament to that.

As I wrote a while back, you simply can't downplay the importance of Josh Sargent's return, but other players have also stepped up to the plate, none more so than Borja Sainz.

The more I see of the Spaniard, the more he looks the real deal. His goal against Coventry the latest on an ever-growing list of sublime finishes.

Of course, there is still a lot of work to be done if we are going to gatecrash the play-offs.

We need to show this promising start to 2024 isn't just a flash in the pan and continue producing results with much greater consistency. Let's hope it's a challenge we can stand up to.

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