A difficult result to take. My heart says just a blip on the road, my head says our away form has been and may remain our achilles heel this season that will be our downfall. Norwich now require a swift bounce back, not dissimilar to the powerful bounce off Jerome`s face. Our play off hopes may dissolve very quickly if not.
What a difference a week makes with a draw and a defeat making the gap between 7th and 6th go from touching distance to what seems miles away. Optimists will be buoyed by the thought that this league shifts and changes very quickly. Pessimists will say our play-off hopes are over.
So what needs to change away from home?
Earlier this season Alex Neil deployed against Brentford a 5-3-2 formation, could this be the answer? We remain, despite our recent defensive improvements, very leaky away from home which is our biggest problem. I would argue this, for Norwich, could be avery effective formation. We have players in the squad that could make this happen and we need more solidity away from home. Our attacking quality should see us still be able to get goals, despite leaving an extra man in the defence.
More worrying to me is what seems to be a losing mentality away from home which is clearly affecting the team. This issue seems to have persisted all season with Norwich having one of the weaker away records in the league (16th). The same players who dominated Nottingham Forest just 7 days ago, at home, were guilty of loose passing and ineffective attack against Burton.
The anomaly to this was Cardiff earlier in the month. It was incredibly refreshing to see this Norwich side earn a very valuable and battling victory, and I think everybody hopes to see more of this again. It is clear that our team has many issues away from home that very swiftly need to be resolved. We will need away form as strong as two seasons ago during Neil`s first play-off push if we are to compete for the rest of the season. We can only hope!
Up next comes the big one, Ipswich at home. Thankfully, we will be playing at Carrow Road.