Q&A With Norwich City

  • February 23, 2018 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/ac0e8

Phil Parkinson has the credentials to guide Bolton to safety this season, but their woeful away record will continue at Carrow Road.

Those are the views of Richard from Norwich City Blog City of Yellows (@cityofyellows), who spoke to us ahead of Saturday's Sky Bet Championship clash.

In the following Q&A interview, Richard shares his views on the Canaries' unlikely push for an end-of-season play-off place, why they may have the next David Beckham in their sights, as well as who he believes is Wanderers' natural successor to Gary Madine.

Q: After a solid start to the season, a miserable run of results through November and December saw Norwich drop towards their current mid-table position. The Canaries are in no danger of relegation but face an uphill struggle if they are to challenge for the play-offs. What is the expectation with 13 games still to play?

A: It isn't over until it's over!

Most City fans wish to believe it's still possible to make the play-offs. Maybe that's a little ingrained based on our modern history of promotion battles.

We have only been defeated once in 12 games but have drawn the last three, against Derby County, Ipswich Town and Wolverhampton Wanderers. Had they been wins, we would be two points off the play-offs.

We now have a run of games against sides in the lower half of the table, which could be a challenge. This season, we have struggled against sides who park the bus. Our slow build up from the back creates few nailed on chances, hence having a poor home and goalscoring record.

Q: Daniel Farke was brought in last summer as the replacement for Alex Neil, whose Preston North End side has spent much of the campaign pushing for a place in the top-six. Was the time right to make that change, and what is the general feeling from City fans towards their current boss?

A: I met up with a Preston fan yesterday. After the defensive Simon Grayson, they are loving the attacking style of Neil.

Time was up for Alex at Carrow Road, as he simply wasn't meeting expectations. After the dust had settled, he was open and honest after leaving us on what went wrong. In his naivety, he was loyal to the squad that got him promotion to the Premier League. We were woeful and the balance of the squad was plainly inadequate, including not having one able centre half.

He must also be remembered for his brilliant play-off winning success, beating Middlesbrough at Wembley.

We have been on two good runs of form this season with Daniel at the helm and understand the big clear out of overpaid, underperforming contracted players was required. New players in have been mainly promising Europeans from a lower level of football who have had to adjust to English football. This is mixed with the remaining squad who have had to adjust to the German methodology of structured, organised, possession football based on endurance via double session training at Colney.

Subsequently fans are learning to be very, very patient.

Q: James Maddison has been amongst the goals all season long - netting 10 times thus far. Is he the man to look out for at the weekend, or is there somebody else Phil Parkinson should have in mind?

A: I believe James Maddison will be the next David Beckham. Let me be a little stronger - I am convinced James Maddison will be the next David Beckham. He is creative, has vision, is a natural finisher, can hold onto a ball with ease and can switch play on a sixpence. Wes Hoolihan, our old playmaker, is now struggling to get on the bench.

The remainder of the team are basically doing the legwork. Josh Murphy produced some magic at your place and scored a top goal. Nelson Oliveira scored a 35-yarder at Wolves in midweek having been dry for 11 games, so maybe he might be continue his scoring run on Saturday!

Q: Sticking with Parkinson - he got Bolton promoted last season whilst under a transfer embargo and has recovered from a start which saw the club pick up two points from their opening 11 games to a position where Wanderers now have safety in their own hands. What have you made of the job he has done at Macron Stadium?

A: I like Phil Parkinson. He is doing a great job under extremely difficult circumstances. I am confident he will pull you away from the relegation zone and improve again next season.

He was a loyal footballer which has continued as a manager, with three promotions and a cup final.

He did well for Bradford City and will continue to be good for Bolton.

Q: With top goalscorer Gary Madine being sold to Cardiff City in January, Bolton are still trying to find a new identity. Of those who remain, who would you pick out as our biggest threat to City's hopes of picking up all three points?

A: I saw Adam Le Fondre scored a recent worldie. He has had a great career, scoring regularly, and is what I would call a natural finisher.

Sammy Ameobi always looks capable of surprising a defence with a snaking run or unexpected strike and Zach Clough looks like he has the potential to do good things but needs to produce every game.

Q: Finally, what is your score prediction for Saturday's game?

A: At present, Norwich games generally have one goal in them. That goal could go to either team.

My best bet would be either a James Maddison free-kick or a Nelson Oliveira swivel from the 18 yard box.

Football betting site Betway

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
19 Rochdale 34 36
20 AFC Wimbledon 35 35
21 Tranmere Rovers 34 32
22 Southend United 35 19
23 Bolton Wanderers 34 14
View Full Standings >>

Poll

Who is Bolton's 2018/19 Player of the Year?
34.62% Gary O'Neil
19.38% David Wheater
18.92% Pawel Olkowski
9.27% Joe Williams
5.33% Jason Lowe
4.13% Sammy Ameobi
2.85% Josh Magennis
2.75% Mark Beevers
1.19% Jack Hobbs
1.01% Ben Alnwick
0.28% Andrew Taylor
0.28% Craig Noone