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Rudolph Hucker

Stoke: a Watershed Game

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Anyone who thinks Norwich City is safe from relegation are self-deluding but with football supporters ever the eternal optimists it is easy to understand why.

 

Losing to Stoke today piles on pressure for a very personal match next week and the sooner points are accumulated to 40 the better. A draw today just keeps the pot boiling for Norwich and Stoke but especially Stoke.

 

We have seen Norwich crawling to safety and in doing so seen the failure of numerous other sides to capitalise. And with so many clubs involved in the mix points won and points denied in head to heads has created this.

 

Last week against Reading showed the value of Norwich doing it for themselves as Sunderland have done. Back to back wins in the bottom half of the EPL are like hen''s teeth. So what we need to see today is Norwich going for that positive result as simply trying to avoid defeat is likely to lead to defeat, we have to carry a threat and stop Stoke holding a high line, KK will help avoid that of course.

 

A Norwich win creates a vastly different picture to either a draw or a loss. Look at the fixtures of Southampton, West Ham and Fulham; a win carries the prospect of ''out of the relegation fight and into mid-table prize money'' because the pressure is off the players, they will get let off the leash and will surely relish ripping into Villa and West Brom. The positive posters will be crowing but lets not forget how fine the margins are and no one should criticise the positives or pessimists come the final outcome. We all want the same thing.

 

Let''s hope Stoke remain goal-shy and Norwich can punish them today. Keeping them at bay will progressively silence and frustrate their crowd. So much depends on Ryan Bennet stepping up to the mark and the catalyst for our season, Kei Kamara, creating the breakaways.

 

Kamara has been crucial for me; he turned around that vital Everton game; has kept opposition defences pegged and despite only scoring the one goal has crucially lifted the atmosphere and sense of positivity; whatever his future I have no doubt he has saved our season. But people will forget as they did when Darren Beckford scored a home hat-trick against Everton for a crucial win in days of yore.

 

So, for me it''s come of age Ryan and prove a point Kei and lets punish Pulis, find mid-table respectability and set ourselves up to all but relegate Villa.

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We are not safe and clearly need 2/3 points to be certain. A probable loss at Stoke means we have less games to get those points which in reality would need to come from a combination of the 2 home games. Gamesare running out. Anything at Stoke would be appreciated but it is the combination of other results that are vital.  If both Norwich and Wigan lose, no great problem.If Norwich draw and Wigan win then the gap is down to 5 with  4 to play for Wigan. No doubt the pendulum will swing every few minutes this afternoon. An unexpected win and we can breath easy and speculate on possible summer arrivals and departures

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''A probable loss at Stoke''

Stoke aren''t even odds on to win... Pretty rare for a side who normally have pretty decent home form, against a team only 1 point better of than them.

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While we''re never going to rock up and play free flowing football away at the Britannia, I echo the OPs points and I think Stoke could be there for the taking today if we can see out the first half hour.Big game for Johnson today too, who needs to keep Walters on a tight leash. 

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Are you lot for real? Are you seriously telling me that Wigna are going to get seven points from their 5 games and even then we have to lose ALL FOUR remaining games.

Wigna still have to play

spuds

WBA

Swans

Arsenal

Villa

Assuming that Wigna can get three wins (which I seriously doubt they can) we still only need 2/3 points. we have two home games coming up which we can win and only ManC, Chelski and Liverpool have beaten us at home this season.

Take a chill pill and enjoy the rest of the season.

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The problem is, neither side seem to be able to understand the other.

''Negatives'' seem to think anyone positive thinks we''re already mathematically safe with no danger at all of going down because we win every single game. While the ''positives'' think the negatives only think we must be going down because its still possible.

Not many seem to be able to actually understand the other side of the argument. Its one extreme or another...

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It''s not that I don''t understand what ''the negatives'' think it''s just that I don''t agree with them.

Last season Wigna won seven games in nine which was an outlier of a series of results. They needed to repeat those feats again but haven''t

If we were in the position of Wigna or villa i''d be seriously worried but we are not. teams are down the bottom of the table are there for a reason (they are not winning games)

look at wigna''s recent run in the league

played well at times but lost at west ham

played well at man city but lost

should have thumped QPR but drew

played ok at home to norwich and won

given that they can play well but still not get the results they need. They''ll be doing well if they go into their game against villa still being able to stay up.

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For me, the main question you need to ask is ''whose shoes would you rather be in'' and currently there are several sides where I''d be far more concerned as a supporter. As things stand, it would take losses both today and against Villa for that to change.

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