THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

Norwich City v Liverpool, 3pm

icon dortmundfans229 September ~ For Norwich City fans this is the season we all hoped for but everyone feared. A resurgence through the leagues and marvellous mid-table finish in the top division under Paul Lambert was a breathtaking journey that no one will forget. Secretly, we dreaded what would come next. Lambert's exit to Villa, Grant Holt's transfer request and a not particularly ambitious set of summer signings were enough to sow the seeds of cynicism long before our "difficult second season" kicked off with a 5-0 spanking by Fulham.

The remnants of the cheeky team who played good football and fought to the death were extinguished that day and as Liverpool come to town we are fighting among ourselves.

Chris Hughton has brought pragmatism to a side that only knew adventure. This is a good thing, because we shipped a lot of goals last season. This is also a bad thing, because we scored for fun last season. Now we defend well but can't score. We play brightly but miss the target.

The fans are confused and divided. Liverpool's visit, much like last season's equivalent home fixture, comes at a time when we all think we can beat them. As we found to our peril before, beware the wounded behemoth. Luis Suárez was outstanding back then and if we give him the ball with as much generosity this time the boos will be ringing out by half time.

We have a wealth of creative midfielders who need to start if our goal-less strikers are to receive the service so short in supply. Liverpool are never far away from an on-pitch crisis; they have a lightweight midfield and a defence prone to mistakes. We have to go for it. No one will mind an attacking blitzkrieg and visiting managers fear our stoked up, partisan crowd, 80 per cent of whom are season ticket holders.

Hughton will know how to approach this game on the pitch but he has yet to learn how to harness the Carrow Road fans. Three seasons of pulsating entertainment have given us a thirst for more and we're desperate to be that fabled 12th man once again. A little adventure at home is all we crave. Give us that and anything is possible. Paul Buller

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