If Glenn Roeder and the powers that be at Carrow Road want a template for success in the coming season, they only need to look in one direction.
Up the east coast and inland a bit at Hull City sits Phil Brown ? a man who has performed a minor miracle in getting the Tigers promoted to the Premier League via the play-offs.
Canary fans will have watched their triumph at Wembley at the weekend with a huge sense of jealousy. Hull City? A team that have never played at Wembley, let alone in the top flight? Why the hell should they get promoted?
But promoted they have been and, on a positive note, it has gone to prove that – as far as the Championship is concerned ? the bookies are not often right.
Who would have predicted Stoke and Hull being two of the three clubs to make the jump into the Promised Land? Certainly not me and with the Canaries in a period of limbo at the moment, it gives us all a bit of hope that Norwich can get close to a similar sort of feat next season.
Negativity seems to be rife amongst City fans at the present time and all the talk is of 'consolidation' for the 2008-09 campaign.
But look at where the Tigers finished before they embarked on a play-off winning campaign ? 21st on 49 points. That, of course, is a total that would have sent them down this year.
However, sheer hard work has seen them achieve their dreams ? all just a year after nearly dropping back into the third tier. All the pre-season “experts” will have the three relegated teams to go straight back up, citing their spending power as the main reason.
And whilst you would expect Reading to be competitive under the wily Steve Coppell, in my opinion, there are two places up for grabs and anyone who follows the Hull template will have half a chance.
“Dean Windass was our matchwinner but it was not just about his goal or his performance – more what we have tried to install into the club since day one, which is clean-sheet mentality,” explained Tigers boss Brown after their 1-0 Wembley triumph over Bristol City.
“Our players put their bodies in the line from one to 11 all the way through the team in the searing heat.
“Twenty-seven times this season we have gone in front and only once have we not won the game, so it was always going to be important to get the first goal at Wembley.”
Hard work, bodies on the line; this little insight into the 'Hull way' sums up why they have gone from relegation favourites to Premier League-bound in under a year.
They have a team of Championship grafters ? with a little bit of flair in the likes of Dean Windass and Fraizer Campbell.
And they can play a bit as well. From the moment I saw them in the 1-1 draw at Carrow Road back in February, I was convinced they were heading in the direction of Old Trafford, Anfield and the Premier League fortunes.
They didn't splash the cash, like a Sheffield United or a Charlton – ?20,000 a week Luke Varney and all?
He forked out a measly ?1.5m on Caleb Folan and Colchester United's Wayne Brown. And the jewel in the Tigers crown was undoubtedly Manchester United loan man Campbell.
It just goes to prove that you don't have to throw wads of cash at it ? although obviously that does help. That's why the recruitment drive in Norfolk this summer is so important.
There won't be huge sums to be dangled under the noses of chairmen and players and the loan market will again prove to be important. If the Canaries can unearth a gem like Campbell, then they will have a half a chance.
Add some competitive Championship players to the party ? and let's face it, you need as many, if not more, Darel Russells as you do Darren Huckerbys to get out of this division ? and they can go into the new campaign with plenty of hope.
At 33/1 to get promotion back to the Premier League, Norwich haven't been less fancied for quite a while. But they were hotly-tipped in 2005-06 and look what happened then.
Hull were given the target of a top-half finish when new chairman Paul Duffen arrived at the helm in the summer of 2007. Promotion inside three years was the long-term aim and now, a year later, the Tigers are preparing for life in the top flight.
With the Canary squad in the middle of some pretty major surgery, repeating that achievement seems a long way off. But, follow the Hull template and you won't go far wrong.
And if we are lucky enough to witness 37,000 Norwich fans crammed into Wembley this time next year, celebrating a play-off triumph and a return to the Premier League, then there may have to be a rethink on Mike Walker's position as the club's 'Greatest Ever' manager.
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