Date:Wednesday July 26 2006
Us Vital editors are a friendly bunch, I've been chatting to Richard Matthews at Vital Norwich about our forthcoming fixture.
We've put some questions to each other, Richards questions and my replies can be found at Vital Norwich by clicking here
Q. How is life as a Norwich fan at the moment? Looking forward to the new season?
A. The lack of new signings and a never-ending tale of financial hardship despite increased income over the past few years leave many thinking we are being cheated by our own club.
Q. I thought you were unlucky to get relegated from the Premiership, how long do you think it'll be until your back in the top flight?
A. Based on the present squad, many of them are just not good enough to mount a serious challenge for promotion, which is why we have such hopes that we can get added strength to our midfield and right wing. The fans hope that we can do it this year, but realistically, things are looking like another decade of second tier football.
Q. Who will be your most important player this term?
A. Our most important player will be the 'keeper, whether that is Paul Gallacher or Robert Green. We have a marvellous inability to defend cohesively, so a stopper will keep our respectability (unless we see minor miracles happening before the transfer window closes). As for Darren Huckerby, he is much older and so very predictable that he is being robbed of possession much more easily that he once was.. Although he can still outshine in bursts.
Q. We haven't seen much transfer activity at Carrow Road recently, seeing as you failed to make the play-offs last year, do you have confidence in your current playing squad to compete this season? Realistically, where do you think you'll finish this time round?
A. There is very little confidence in the present squad. Most of Nigel Worthington`s buys last summer have failed to live up to expectations. Hughes, Robinson and Etuhu have a long way to go to win over many Norwich fans.
Q. Have you ever been to Elland Road? What do you think of the reception you get from fans and staff? How do you rate the food and beer? If you haven't been before, are you planning to go this time round and what do you think you`ll expect?
A. I regret to say that I have yet to visit Elland Road. I am disabled and disabled spaces are limited at away games. With Norwich City's ticketing policy I doubt that I will make it this season, as I missed too many away games last season (ten away games is a minimum for first options). I really do hope to visit before too long, though. Maybe when we are both back in the Premiership? As for your fans, the away fans at Carrow Road all seemed friendly enough. None of that West Ham 'We are a bigger club than you' attitude and I hope that they enjoyed themselves as we did.
Q. How do you see the game against Leeds panning out, is there any player in particular you think may cause you problems?
A. If last season is anything to judge by, Norwich play a lot of route one football, so we all hope to see a passing game. As for players to watch out for, anybody that is prepared to run at our present defenders, as we have been guilty of conceding far to many by simple defending errors; set pieces and corners, as well. Our defence resembles a headless chicken at such times.
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