Norwich City’s season appears to be at a crossroads after their drab 0-0 draw with Fulham left them a mere six points clear the relegation zone.
Their unsuccessful run now stretches to nine games, and the stalemate against Martin Jol’s side was hardly a surprise seeing as City have scored just once in their last six matches in all competitions. Even new boy Luciano Becchio, signed from Leeds in January, failed to make the difference, seeing his early shot saved and then spurning two headers late on.
Manager Chris Hughton praised Becchio for his work ethic but admitted that the Canaries need to be more clinical in the box – his side’s chances were hindered early on when star striker Grant Holt had to pull out of the game through injury after suffering a back spasm.
Hughton had options on the bench, throwing on another new forward in Kei Kamara, recently signed on loan from Major League Soccer, but again to no avail. Yellows’ fans could have expected more from the game, particularly after news broke that a virus had hit the Fulham squad the night before the game, affecting key men such as Bryan Ruiz and Chris Baird.
The Premier League table is tight as ever and a few points in their up and coming games could see Norwich propel to a comfortable mid table position. City admittedly have the slightly ominous task of facing Manchester United at Old Trafford next week, but after that it is vital that the Canaries pick up points against fellow strugglers Southampton, Sunderland and Wigan.
Southampton have impressed under new manager Mauricio Pocchetino, so City will face a tough task but need to be merciless in their fight against the drop. Hughton insists the priority now is getting maximum points, even if that means sacrificing some of the glamorous football Norwich have thrilled the Premier League with this season. The aim, though, is to make sure that the Yellows are playing football in the top flight at all next year.
Things are looking up for the Canaries after Bradley Johnson signed a new deal to keep him at Carrow Road until June 2016. The midfielder joined on a free transfer from Leeds two seasons ago, and is sure to make a valuable contribution to the City side in the coming years, having played in all but one Premier League game this season.
The side’s 10-game unbeaten run should provide hope to fans and players alike, and around another ten points should see Norwich reach the coveted ’40 point’ mark required for survival.