clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

FAN FOCUS - The Little Yellow Bird Project Talk Norwich City v SAFC

Ahead of a massive relegation six pointer, Rory Fallow caught up with Daniel Brigham from The Little Yellow Bird Project to get a Canaries view of the match.

Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

Despite a set back against Crystal Palace, Norwich are in decent form at the moment after a lot of neutrals had written them off. What is the upturn in fortunes down to?

Timm Klose and his massive nose. He's proved to be a great signing at centre-back, and it's not exaggerating to say we'd be safe by now if we'd had him at the start of the season. He's not the quickest, but he's a step ahead of the game, is commanding, communicates well and plays out brilliantly from the back. Luckily for you he hobbled off with a twisted knee against Palace, so he might be out.

Alex Neil has also moved Jonny Howson into central midfield from the right and pushed Robbie Brady up from left-back to the left-wing. Both players are much more comfortable in those positions, so essentially he's playing square pegs in square holes now.

Will the defeat against Palace, have much of an effect on the players? Or will they be still be full of confidence from the three previous games?

I don't think it'll make much difference. Apart from our win at your place and somehow beating United at Old Trafford, we've mostly been pretty wretched on the road this season. Even our win at West Brom a couple of weeks ago was down to us playing slightly less badly than the Baggies did. It's our home games which will be key. We're usually pretty confident at Carrow Road, and a totally different side to the timid, anxious team on the road.

How do you see Norwich approaching the game - Will you play for a point, which will keep the four point gap between the two sides, or do you think Alex Neil will instruct his players to go all out for the win and all but guarantee your safety?

We'll go for the win. I'd say I was surprised to hear Allardyce say he's more concerned about not losing at Norwich rather than winning, but it's Allardyce so it should be expected really. I can't imagine that's gone down all that well with the Sunderland fans ahead of a must-win game.

We won't be gung-ho, but this is a massive opportunity to put a big gap between us and yourselves, and we're generally positive at home.

What's the mood like amongst supporters at the moment - I imagine that being four points clear of the relegation zone is making everyone feel fairly positive or are there still a few nerves?

Ha, you've overestimated the Norwich fans! We're all bricking it. While we've turned things around over the last month, we know we probably need another 7 points. We're also all-too aware of Sunderland's insane ability to beat the drop, that you have a game in hand and that Allardyce is also a very decent manager. There's a positivity now that wasn't there during our dreadful run of not winning in 10 league games after the New Year, but we all know a defeat to Sunderland would be a bit of a disaster.

Anyone in the Sunderland side you're particularly worried about?

Sorry to be predictable, but Defoe and Borini. Defoe is a constant threat, and the fact he's missed a few sitters recently makes me nervous. If we give Borini as much space as Newcastle did in the derby then we're asking for trouble - I really like him. He's great at drifting away from defenders and finding space.

Have to admit I'm surprised that Jeremain Lens hasn't had a better season. Thought he'd be a real threat in the Premier League. I'm a big - well, moderate - fan of M'Vila's too.

Who should Sunderland be most worried about in the Norwich side?

Ha, not sure there's anyone to get you too worried! But Howson has been outstanding in our revival, breaking from midfield and setting the tempo.

Brady has probably been our most consistent player this season, but has been wasted at left-back for too much of the season. He had a rare quiet game at Palace, but is two-footed, surprisingly fast, has good vision and a really great touch. Like Howson, when Brady plays well the team usually plays well.

Dieumerci Mbokani was brilliant against Newcastle and can be a real handful, but he's shown his potential very rarely this season. I'm hoping Wes Hoolahan starts ahead of Steven Naismith in the hole as I think your back four struggles against clever, nimble players (and Naismith has been as poor as I'd feared when we bought him in January). I'm also hoping Nathan Redmond starts ahead of Matt Jarvis on the right now that he's fully fit - his pace and directness is a constant threat (just a shame he can't really be arsed to track back).

How do you see yourselves lining up for the game?

As I just mentioned, it's hard to predict the starting line-up under Alex Neil. But it'll be 4-2-3-1, and let's hope (sorry!) that Klose is fit: Ruddy; Wisdom, Bennett, Klose (Bassong if not fit), Olsson; Howson, O'Neil; Redmond, Naismith, Brady; Mbokani.

Finally, a prediction please?

May depend on Klose's fitness, but I'm going for a nervy, horrible 2-1 to us.

Thank's to Daniel for his time. You can check out The Little Yellow Bird Project on their website or on Twitter.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Roker Report Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Sunderland news from Roker Report