Canaries fans hope for Coventry help

PUBLISHED: 09:49 21 April 2009 | UPDATED: 13:43 03 July 2010

Coventry manager Chris Coleman

Coventry manager Chris Coleman

Thousands of Norwich City fans can be forgiven for changing their allegiance tonight when events 140 miles away from Carrow Road could have a major bearing on the club's future.

Thousands of Norwich City fans can be forgiven for changing their allegiance tonight when events 140 miles away from Carrow Road could have a major bearing on the club's future.

With the Canaries staring into the relegation abyss and time fast running out, they need a major helping hand to avoid the drop - and Coventry can do them a huge favour tonight by beating Barnsley at the Ricoh Arena.

Barnsley are a point ahead of City, in the final safe spot, and if they get this game in hand out of the way without widening the gap, Norwich fans will have reason to believe that Lady Luck may be preparing to smile on them just when she's needed most.

Sky Blues boss Chris Coleman perhaps owes Norwich a favour anyway - City's defeat at Ipswich on Sunday means his team are now mathematically safe from relegation.

Coleman was at Portman Road - and the good news is that he is determined his team don't now end their season early.

“I think we are going to need to win two and draw one to achieve our target, which won't be easy considering the run of form we have been in, but it is possible so we have got to try to remain positive,” said Coleman.

“It is important we stop this run before the end of the season.”

“It is a bit different to this time last year. I went to the Ipswich game on Sunday and it was nice to look at it and think it is now mathematically impossible to get dragged into it.”

Barnsley boss Simon Davey remains in defiant mood.

“I have been confident of staying up from day one and that opinion has not changed,” he said. “The players feel exactly the same and they know what they are fighting for.”

Barnsley keeper Luke Steele was one of the stars of the goalless draw at Reading on Saturday which pushed City back into the drop zone - and expects to go one better tonight with a win.

“This is a big three points up for grabs,” said the Peterborough-born stopper. “We have to go there with the same attitude as we had at Reading and be professional. We do not need to go out and chase the game - we have to make sure we set our own tempo and win the game.”

The bookies are struggling to separate the sides, with Ladbrokes offering Coventry at 7-5, Barnsley at 6-4, with 9-4 for the draw.

While most of the focus will be on events at the Ricoh Arena, the match at Pride Park between Derby and Reading could also have repercussions.

Derby are not altogether safe, with four points between them and City, but if their game in hand yields more than a win their status is guaranteed.

However, Reading need a win to all but guarantee their place in the end-of-season play-offs - their goal difference being far superior to any team that might be able to catch them.

If Reading do win, then the hope is that they will be more relaxed for their next game - against Norwich at Carrow Road on Monday.

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