All set for the return of the East Anglian derby?

Looking forward to another Rotherham (a) fixture?

Breathing a sigh of relief that Grant Hanley, Ben Gibson and Co won't be facing the nigh impossible task of coping with Erling Haaland?

Before Saturday's visit of Sheffield United, I said to my mates that if we lost, that would be it for our play-off hopes.

The result - coupled with another sadly insipid overall display - means I'm sticking to that prediction.

It's so disappointing that after the huge swathe of positivity following the Millwall victory, a chorus of boos rang out at Saturday's final whistle.

By that point plenty of supporters had already headed for the exits. They saw no hope of a fightback. Those who did leave missed the only City shot on target, which came in the 92nd minute.

Eastern Daily Press: Kenny McLean tries, unsuccessfully, to get a shot on target against Sheffield UnitedKenny McLean tries, unsuccessfully, to get a shot on target against Sheffield United (Image: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd)

There was little prospect that David Wagner's men would pierce the Blades' well-organised backline.

You would have hoped that the kitchen sink would have been thrown at the visitors. Unfortunately not.

As we trudged out of the ground, there was a real sense of inevitably that the promotion fight is all but over.

Of course the head coach and players will keep trotting out the positive "game still on" soundbites. If they didn't remain upbeat and hopeful we may as well all give up.

A look at the table shows City are just four points behind sixth-placed Blackburn ahead of the Good Friday fixture at Ewood Park.

The facts state that a Canaries' win will take that gap to just one point. 

As a dyed in the wool City fan, I absolutely want that to happen.

However, the growing sense of reality of where we're at makes the outcome unlikely.

And let's remember, Blackburn still have a game in hand.

The northerners have already beaten Norwich twice season. The first was a depressing 2-0 reversal just before Christmas in one of Dean Smith's last matches in charge.

The other defeat marked the end of City's FA Cup run at the first hurdle back in January.

The league match against Blackburn at Carra is one of 17 City have played against teams in the top 11 this season.

A worrying 10 of those have ended in defeat, with two draws and just five wins.

So out of a possible 51 points against our rivals, we've secured just 17. In other words, a point a game. 

That's simply nowhere near good enough.

Basically, when the going gets tough and City come up to face the top teams, they go missing.

The team have been outclassed twice against runaways leaders Burnley.

They got a draw at Bramall Lane but were very much second best when the Blades visited NR1.

In the 17 matches, the Canaries have scored only 24 goals - and 14 of those came in four games (including the Millwall away win and the excellent Coventry and Preston victories in Wagner's early days).

At the other end of the pitch there have been only three clean sheets.

If City's promotion hopes are going to be taken anything like seriously, there simply has to be proof that they can really cut it against the Championship's big boys.

There has to be a momentum. There has to be belief. There have to be goals and a sign of creativity.

All these are lacking at the moment.

Think back to previous promotion campaigns, where there has been a juggernaut of positivity and those factors which just aren't seeing under this current group of players.

Of the seven remaining fixtures this term, three will see City clash swords with clubs in the top 10 - after the Good Friday outing, there are still away trips to third-placed Middlesbrough and West Brom (ninth).

If the points return isn't improved, it will be impossible to be anywhere near the top six.

Also, there's a growing feeling that Carrow Road is in no way a fortress any more.

Of the last 42 home matches, City had won only 12 and lost 23.

That is so disappointing and the inability to overcome the teams who you have to be able to beat to prove you're good enough to return to the top flight - especially on home soil - seems likely to be the depressing legacy from a generally forgettable campaign.

Assuming that's the case, a growing list of questions will need to be answered this summer.

More on that in future columns...



It's Angus for me

Voting has opened to pick this year's player of the season - and there's not the most obvious choice after an underwhelming campaign.

There have been times earlier in the term when we thought certain lads would really take off and storm to the award.

Before the World Cup, Josh Sargent was starting to bang in goals for fun. He looked sharp, hungry and prolific.

Since he got back, he hasn't, unfortunately, seemed the same player.

We've seen glimpses of Gabriel Sara and I think going forward he is one we can be very positive about.

We always have hopes for Teemu Pukki, but his goal return has been nothing like that of previous promotion seasons.

Lots of fans I talk to are plumping for Kenny McLean and there's no doubt he has shown consistency and desire throughout the year and been one of the few highlights.

But my choice is Angus Gunn.

As I wrote last time, he seems to have secured the place between the posts and fully deserves that. 

His achievement to be called up for Scotland - and get two excellent clean sheets in his first two games - is also brilliant for the hugely likeable lad.

Well done Jacob

I love Norwich Market.

There's such a great variety of stalls and it's fascinating to wander round to soak up the atmosphere with all the sights and smells.

My favourite part of the market has to be On The Stall City (stalls 12 and 13) which is run by the fantastic Jacob Bowles and other volunteers to raise funds for the Norwich City charity the Community Sports Foundation.

If you haven't been, I'd thoroughly recommend it and there's a huge amount of Norwich City football shirts, books and memorabilia.

I popped down last week and had a lovely chat with Jacob, who is so knowledgeable and passionate about his beloved Canaries.

The previous evening he'd been to the Norwich City Fans' Social Club's evening with David Wagner and was very impressed with what he'd seen from the head coach.

Jacob displays that commitment which is so special about City fans and let's all continue to show him our support.

You can find opening times and more information on the website or find them on Twitter.