Why, then, do some Norwich City fans insist on throwing their arms in the air and acting like it's all over after one result which doesn't go our way. After the 2-2 draw at Huddersfield in midweek, I knew there would be some chump popping up on social media to say "well, we can forget all about automatic promotion now!" – and, sure enough, there was. It was the same after we lost to Wigan (our only defeat in the past ten games).
Why do some hysterical fans think every negative result is the end of the world? It's such a crass, short-sighted overreaction!
When things are this tight at the top of the table, anything can happen, and things can change very quickly. Bournemouth have have spent more weeks at the top of the table this season than any other team, but last month they'd slipped to fourth place – now, however, they're back on top again. A month ago, when we beat them 3-0 away, Watford were sixth – but going into this weekend's round of games, they were first. It doesn't take much for the picture at the top of the table to change completely. It's not over yet – and to think that one result (either positive or negative) has sealed our fate is incredibly foolish.
|The Championship top ten (correct as of Sunday 22nd March).|
As things stand, Norwich have the best record over the last ten games (seven wins, two draws and one loss) of all the teams in the Championship; we have the second best goal difference in the league (only Bournemouth's is better); only Bournemouth (8) have lost fewer games so far this season than us (Norwich and Middlesborough have both lost 9); and we are two points off second place, and three points off the top of the table.
So is automatic promotion 'out of the question' now? Quite the opposite, in fact! Given all those statistics, there is absolutely no reason why we can't catch the teams above us. Automatic promotion is still eminently plausible, and the volatility of the race for promotion means that this is likely to remain the case.
Of course, promotion isn't guaranteed just because the statistics are in our favour. This unpredictability works both ways; the likes of Derby, Ipswich, Brentford and Wolves will be looking up the table at Norwich, thinking "there's no reason we can't catch them" – and they're right. But what it does mean is that promotion is up for grabs, and anybody at the sharp end of the league table has a chance of grabbing it for themselves – and if we just keep doing what we're doing, we've as good a chance as anyone, if not better.