Former Norwich hero Chris Sutton has urged City supporters to remain realistic, as the Canaries prepare for their Championship return at home to Watford a week on Friday.
After storming League One last season, many are predicting a play-off push this time around, especially after that impressive weekend win over Premier League Newcastle.
But Sutton, whose Lincoln team host the Canaries at Sincil Bank this evening, is thinking along the lines of consolidation, rather than promotion.
“Making sure they are solid and staying in the Championship would be a good season,” Sutton told BBC Radio Lincolnshire.
“Fans do have wild expectations but I’m sure the management and board will be thinking about stabilising.
“If they could go up then fantastic, but it’s not easy and they won’t find it as easy as they did last season. They have players who can cope at Championship level but it will be tough for them next season.
“I think they’ll do well, I just think they’ve got to be careful in not getting too far ahead of themselves and the fans thinking they can win the league outright.”
After a 0-0 draw for City’s young ‘XI’ last night at Diss, Canary boss Paul Lambert, who played with Sutton at Celtic, is expected to field a much stronger line-up this evening.
And the Scot goes into tonight’s encounter boosted by the club’s record season ticket sales announcement, which means Norwich go into the new campaign with 20,550 supporters signed up.
“Our fanbase is phenomenal, it really is,” Lambert told the club’s official website, www.canaries.co.uk.
“I’ve said it before, that people from other parts of the country probably don’t appreciate it but when you come here you really do.
“It’s massive and the supporters are such a huge part of everything we do here. Now we must aim to reward their loyalty by performing well on the pitch.
“It means everything to myself, the staff and the players, who really appreciate the backing the fans give the club home and away, across mile after mile.”
City’s Head of Customer Services, Richard Gough, added: “Season tickets have continued to sell well throughout the summer.
“This means we start next season with a record number of season tickets at Carrow Road and shows once again what incredible support we have at this Club.”
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