What are Norwich fans saying ahead of tonight’s game.
Four minutes into injury time at St James Park in September, they were seven points clear of the Magpies…
Tuesday night the two teams meet with Newcastle top and Norwich one place off the play-offs, 15 points the difference.
The Canaries though have had better form since the turn of the year, five wins and only one defeat in seven games, leading to renewed optimism and confidence.
Some are wary of Rafa and Jonjo Shelvey, though others think Newcastle are riding their luck at the moment…
Comments from Norwich fans via their ‘Pink Un’ message board:
‘I respect Newcastle for sure, but…
We’re not Wolverhampton Wanderers who had no problem with that team on Saturday night despite the 1 nil loss, had Lambert had our squad playing Saturday then we’d have dicked them at Molineux.
And I would not swap our attacking players for Newcastle’s in a million years – and I certainly wouldn’t swap our back 5 including Ruddy either, especially with the arrival of Mitchell Dijks who has strengthened us no end.
We played at our best against Newcastle at St James Park, or whatever it’s called, now when we attacked – when we gave them the respect and tried the defensive and sit back tactic then that was when we came seriously unstuck and they got back on top! I believe it went wrong when we swapped Murphy for Bennett.
We’re at home, and we’re starting to play in a manner that we would expect with such quality at our disposal. We will win if we go for the jugular, that I’m sure.’
‘I’ve changed my mind several times in the last couple of days. Really tough decision for Alex Neil.
The question is are we good enough to let them worry about us or do we need to compensate for their quality. I think the answer is somewhere in between.
I think we’ll see 2 changes (fitness permitting) Naismith in for Pritchard and Tettey in for Mulumbu.’
‘I think it’s a hell of a dilemma for Alex Neil, but fortunately it is for Rafa Benitez as well!
I can definitely see pros and cons for what everybody has been saying on this thread, and of course cons in my argument too, as so many make good respective points for the more compact approach – I just want to see us tear them a new one so badly because I know we’ve more than got what it takes!’
‘Our biggest undoing at Newcastle (aside from the suicidal sub) was giving Shelvey the time to pick out any pass he wanted, over & over again.
‘I would play Pritchard, tell him to be creative when we have the ball but then when we havent stand on Shelveys toes.
Maybe dump him on the ground a few times (he can be wound up) but make him play the passes early, dont give him that time to pick out a 50yard ball.’
‘Seen Newcastle on TV recently and they really do not look that great.
Defence seemed wobbly under pressure and without Gayle they do not carry the same threat in attack. Providing Pritchard receives some decent service, with passes to him on the ground, he is beginning to look impressive. It will be an appalling managerial decision if he is dropped tomorrow.
We finished the game on Sat with bags of some overdue confidence, let the same boys at least have 60 mins and see how it goes.’
‘Why can’t we start the game with the same line up?
If it doesn’t work out then change it. But lets not speculate about what Newcastle will do. We need to keep winning and get into the fifth/sixth spot.
Let Rafa Benitez do the worrying especially after the luck Newcastle had on Saturday and he will remember we were 3-1 up at St James.’
‘I think Newcastle is one team we can pretty much guarantee we won’t be going in 2 up front against…’
‘If you want to beat Newcastle you have to match up to Shelvey, Colback and Diame – three big, strong guys in the centre of the park.’
‘While I understand people who say ‘lets not care about what the opposition do and make them worry about us’ – I don’t agree in this situation.
Newcastle are the best ‘away’ team in the League and set-up to hit teams that come at them on the counter.
Playing 3 players who aren’t great at tracking back behind a striker will play right into Newcastle’s strengths, which are significant.
If Gayle is back then it is better for Norwich to sit back a bit and not allow any space in behind the defence and then look for quick transitions in behind their full backs.
It will be a tough game, while Newcastle haven’t been at their best recently they have such a variety of players they can adapt their style well.
They also have an excellent manager so Alex Neil will need to be on top of his game.’