City keeper David Marshall is expecting more of the Layer Road same tomorrow as the Canaries kick-off their crucial Christmas campaign with a trip to the Glanford Park home of The Iron.
Same tight, little ground; same passionate intensity to cling on to their hard-earned Championship status – there will be precious little difference between last Saturday's 1-1 draw with Colchester United and tomorrow's clash with Scunthorpe.
?I think it will be very similar to Colchester,? said Marshall, who emerged from Essex with another man of the match accolade to his name after a particularly fine, instinctive save from Us striker Clive Platt.
?Same tight, little ground and I think they're only a point ahead of us in the league, so another tough game and, hopefully, we can get a win.?
The one time that Marshall's defences were breached last Saturday owed much to on-loan defender Mo Camara being caught in at least half a dozen minds as that miscued, 78th minute corner limped into the City keeper's six-yard box.
Drawn out of the near post space he should have been marking, it enabled Kevin McLeod to shin the ball up and beyond the 22-year-old City Norwich No1. Cue a frank exchange of views as the normally laid-back Marshall revealed a different side to his character.
?It was disappointing the way that we lost the goal on Saturday,? he said, verbal blast at the ready.
?I'm not usually like that,? he admitted. ?But it happens – it's just the heat of the game. But Mo's not got a problem with that and I'dnot have a problem with taking it back off him. It just happens.?
Courtesy of Danny Granville's 89th minute own goal, of course, and the damage was limited in a contest that Marshall readily admits that they would have lost just seven, short weeks ago.
So, what's changed? ?Maybe just the belief because we've got a few winds behind us,? said Marshall, who could very soon be challenging for that No1 Scotland spot – certainly for as long as ex-City No2 Darren Ward keeps Craig Gordon out of the frame at Sunderland.
?The manager has come in and obviously changed things around and we needed that because we were starting to get a bit adrift,? said Marshall, with that moment when the Canaries found themselves a full five points off 23rd place starting – just starting – to fade from the memory.
?But now we're back in the pack – but it's very tight down at the bottom and a win tomorrow could give us a bit of breathing space.?
Marshall looks back now at the derby game – Glenn Roeder's first game in charge – as when the tide slowly started to turn. There was, of course, still Plymouth (a) to come but suddenly a little hope started to flow.
?We were 2-0 down at half-time and when you come back and get something from the game, that maybe gives the players a bit of belief.
?So there's a bit of luck involved. And maybe the players that he's brought in have kept the other boys on their toes – and I think there's a lot of confidence at the moment.?
Tomorrow's trip to The Iron kicks off another frantic spell of action with the back-to-back home games against Charlton and Wolves to be followed by the traditional trip to Crystal Palace on New Year's Day.
Earlier Roeder had called for a three-week, mid-season break – time for players to recharge their batteries and give the paying spectators better value for money as opposed to the ugly, slug-fest that the trip to Palace will inevitably be.
The goalkeepers' union, however, remains unconvinced.
?I don't mind it that way,? he said. ?Maybe for the players running around, they need the rest. But I don't mind it.?
Get on a roll and you want to stay on it, was his thought. Christmas can make or break many a side.
?If you can have a good Christmas in this league then you can get well up the league and you never know…
?We've had Colchester and this is another relegation game, if you like. But then we've got the two homes games after that which we're obviously looking to win.
?But there's four games here now between now and the 1st of January in which we'd hope to get ourselves back up the league.?
That's the theory. As everyone knows, it is now a case of putting that theory into practice – starting at Glanford Park tomorrow.
?It is an opportunity, but we're not taking anything for granted,? said the City keeper.
?We've done well; we've won four out of our last six games. We're on a good run. We know that, but at the same time we'll respect Scunthorpe.?
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