Norwich City Defender Shows Respect But No Fear Entering The Play-Offs

Is the Premier League ready for a Suffolk invasion again? Well, after the euphoric scenes at Portman Road on Saturday which have carried through to a promotion parade today, eyes now turn to the yellow side of the county as Norwich City look to gain entry to the top flight via the playoffs.

David Wagner has guided his side stealthily through the season, and a team that was in the shadow of their nearest rival for most of the season, now is emerging as a potential real threat to the more fancied teams in the end-of-season tournament.

This despite backing into the playoffs with a loss to doomed Birmingham City on the final day of the season. Leeds United are the opponents in the two-legged semi-final, the first game at Carrow Road this coming Sunday, and defender Jack Stacey has opened up about the task ahead.

The right-back has been one of Wagner’s mainstays this season, and even though he has the full respect of Daniel Farke’s Leeds side the 28-year-old will show no fear after achieving the first part of the clubs ambitions this year.

The two games between the two sides this season have been close affairs, with just one goal between the two on each occasion. Both times it was the Elland Road outfit that came out on top. Stacey though has taken heart from the overall season performances and with Leeds as favourites the pressure will be on them to reach the Wembley final later this month.

Talking to the club website and reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post, Stacey said. “The goal over 46 games and especially recently was try to get into the play-offs.

“The goal has been achieved so our energies are now focusing forward. I think the thing you can take from today is the importance of a home atmosphere. We saw that ourselves with the Ipswich game (Norwich won 1-0 in early April) it’s something we want to create for Leeds and try to use that to our advantage.

“We know they’re a good team and have a lot of real individual quality. The two games we’ve had against them, we’ve not come out on the right side of the result, but they’ve been tight games.

“They’ve been good games and performances in aspects, and we want to take those aspects into the game and stop the negative things that went against us.”

Writer’s View

Norwich City have nothing to lose in the upcoming playoffs. They have proved they are good enough to be there but will be underdogs, especially in this semi-final. Leeds though have dropped off in form having won only once in the last six games when they were once tipped to win the league.

Jack Stacey is right in that the first aim was to get into the playoffs, but now there they will fancy their chances even if they have lost both times they have faced their opponents. If they can play with the same intensity as they did when playing their derby fixture, they could spring a shock, and then the Suffolk invasion of the Premier League could well be on.

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