He quickly established himself, alongside Russ, Wes and Holty, as a key figure on the pitch and in the dressing room, and on top of his dominant displays in goal none of us will ever forget his full-length-of-the-pitch sprint to join in with the celebrations when Jackson, Goreham and “utter chaos” collided.
The current squad, for all its undeniable faults, has an attacking edge that’s matched by very few in the Championship. To take a sledgehammer to that part of the squad threatens to throw a baby or two out with the bathwater.
There was no taking away from Pritchard’s impact on proceedings and thanks to the cacophony of noise that accompanied his every flick, trick and dropped-shoulder his evening’s work was played out under the brightest of spotlights.
The money raised by the NCFSC over 2015/16 season will help a team of local footballers with learning difficulties take part in this summer’s National Special Olympics in Sheffield.
The changes promised post-match by Irvine on Friday were duly delivered with Wes, Jacob Murphy and Nelson Oliveira, three of Friday’s strugglers, finding themselves rested in favour of Messrs Naismith, Jerome and Josh Murphy.
Too many within this group are able to excel when the planets are aligned and the going good but lack the wherewithal to impact on a game when the chips are down; their ability to come back from a losing position almost non-existent.
City’s season has turned to mush. In the true tradition of sport the least they can now do is their best to scupper it for others and, given the unquestionably impressive home form, Fulham will be well aware that a yellow and green banana skin awaits.
As it transpired, those hoping for a window of opportunity to unleash their wrath were to be disappointed and the general mood as the folk filtered out at the end of the game was an odd mix of joy, mild amusement and bewilderment.
Most of the implosions have been revealed to the wider footballing public on a 30 second highlight reel. Not this one. Every missed tackle, every stray pass, every defensive lapse was played out in all its ‘glory’ for the delectation of anyone whose not part of the Canary Nation.
There is naturally risk associated with large scale turnovers but this is no time for a tweak here and a new face there; this needs the shedding of so much dead wood that if done properly Colney on 1st July could resemble the UEA’s Freshers’ Week.
In a week that has been blissfully light of Yellow Army bickering the one discussion that has strayed into ‘lively’ territory is that of how much urgency should be attached to appointing the new head coach, and whether it’s important to do it now or wait until end of the season.
That Roy Hodgson is not to be part of the structure has come as something of a relief; not because of his age or ability to manage, which despite his England tenure is good at club level, but because of his proximity to the club’s owners.
What it can’t be is a cosmetic exercise designed to appease the “moaners” that Delia so despises; one that essentially just shuffles around the building blocks to such an extent it becomes unrecognisable but offers more of the same.
This time be bold, be different, be imaginative with your next appointment. Don’t look north of the border; been there, done that. Ronald Koeman’s appointment at Southampton was inspired. Surprise me.
Alex’s credits in the bank extended to an ovation as he and the players sheepishly paraded around the pitch after the final home game against Watford. He expressed surprise; he expected at least a modicum of heat. Instead he showered with warmth. Hugs not brickbats.
The blame apportionment has gone no further than the players; Alex seemingly absolved of any responsibility. His pre-Ashton Gate presser told the story of a man who astoundingly is feeling not even the slightest hint of heat from above; of one who is already planning for a long-term Carrow Road future.
Money can of buy you a player with an impressive CV, one who has a deft first touch, who ping the ball onto a sixpence from forty yards and pull the ball out of the sky as if ball and boot were adorned with Velcro but unless that player has hunger, appetite, desire and is well managed it counts for diddly-squat.
Where it fell down was the inability to find enough quality in the final third to really hurt the massed ranks of blue and when half-chances arrived they were either snatched at or Town’s keeper was up to the task, and in a game of fine margins City’s cutting edge, on the day, went AWOL.
To get turned over by the old enemy would, for many, be a blow too far, especially with it likely killing off our lingering hopes of gate-crashing the top six. Wounds that had started to heal following the mini-revival could, or probably would, be re-opened in an instant. The mood would be ugly.
New dawns have generally been the product of flat-track bullying at Carrow Road – with admittedly the odd exception – and have ended up being the false variety, with City’s away-day woes the result of an embedded inability to stand up and be counted when it really matters.