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Pete Raven, June 22, 2006 in Main Discussion - Norwich City
A tough opening couple of games, but it does appear from first glance that most of the ''bigger'' games are reasonably dispersed - there''s a run of Sunderland/WBA/Binners in November, then Wolves/Leeds both at home in the space of 5 days at the end of January, and the run-in of our last 3 home games is against WBA/Binners/Soton all who could be in contention at/near the top (or just want a large say on how we do in the case of the binners, as I hope they aren''t in contention!).....but then again, you never know in advance who will be up there, so the ''big'' games may fall elsewhere.
[It does seem a little tinkering is needed to the fixture list as it appears though: we surely won''t play our Boxing Day and New Year''s Day games at 7:45pm (nor the game v Leicester on a Sat in mid-Nov!)?]
Pretty tough start I suppose.
Would expect around 13 points from those first 8 games at least.
Either way it looks like a tough division this season.
I think that is a fair mix. Leeds away is a touch start but their style of play is one dimensional so we should be prepared. We did well against them last year despite not winning (one of the few times we did that against anyone) so its not unwinnable.
Yes Preston are a good side but their manager has left so anything can happen, and Luton were poor when they visited here last time. Derby away shouldnt hold any fears if we want to acheive our goals.
IF we have any realistic play off or beyond pretentions then to be honest these 4 games should tell us how competetive we are going to be - or not as the case may be. To get promototed we are going to have to win at least one of Leeds/Preston games and not lose away at derby. Luton may scrape a draw but a home defeat would set a disappointing marker.
I dont think these games are too tough if we strengthen properly and get the tactical approach right by moving mix of hoof ball and passing/movement from the current 90/10 preference towards a far healthier 50/50.
Last season I started expecting a good season and at worst only just missing out on the play offs in the last day or so. This season I know we have the shape of an auto promotion squad that will only finish midtable unless the managers strengthens the right areas of the squad (not forwards) and radically changes our tactical approach to the game
Personally I am pleased we have got a tough start. It means the team will have to be up for it from day one. Last season''s 3 "easy" home games were a bit of a hindrance and our season never really got started. For all the talk of the fans not appreciating how tough those 3 games would be, I think the team are also guilty of making the same mistake. I think the players thought that it would be 9 points in the bag and our season struggled after it did not materialise.
With a harder start this season I expect the players to be more focussed this time round and with the pressure of being the "favourites" for the title gone, I live in hope that we will have a much better start.
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