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Kings of Anglia Issue 10 Magazine Offer

Fuller Flavour: To say I fear Sunday’s derby is a huge understatement!

PUBLISHED: 06:00 04 February 2019

Sheffield Wednesday celebrate Lucas Joao's (18) late winner in the 1-0 victory over Ipswich Town.    Picture: STEVE WALLER     WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

Sheffield Wednesday celebrate Lucas Joao's (18) late winner in the 1-0 victory over Ipswich Town. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Karl Fuller looks worringly ahead to next Sunday’s derby, as well as a reflection on Saturday’s defeat to Sheffield Wednesday

Matthew Pennington rises high and wins the ball in this battle with Steven Fletcher.    Picture: STEVE WALLER     WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COMMatthew Pennington rises high and wins the ball in this battle with Steven Fletcher. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

‘We’re like a wounded animal waiting for someone to put us out of misery.’

Those were the words from my good friend Chris Hayes on Saturday that summed up our season perfectly.

Sadly, such misery will continue to be borne for another three months until the curtain comes down on the most horrific of seasons in my lifetime.

The fat lady will of course be singing long before then, I predict by Easter – if not before.

Bartosz Bialkowski makes a crucial early save.    Picture: STEVE WALLER     WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COMBartosz Bialkowski makes a crucial early save. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

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I’ve said recently that even our best has not been good enough and then there are days like Saturday.

Plenty of endeavour, huff and puff as you’d ought to expect and at times, the effort made up for the lack of quality. Sheffield Wednesday missed a plethora of decent chances granted, with Fernando Forestieri being the chief culprit. But as the clock ticked past 60, 70 and then 80 minutes, I still felt that we had done enough to earn a draw.

Then that all too familiar gut-wrenching moment came along in the last minute of normal time as Adam Reach cut past Myles Kenlock like a hot knife through butter to lay the ball to Lucas Joao to sweep home.

Alan Judge and James Bree at the final whistle in the defeat by Sheffield Wednesday.    Picture: STEVE WALLER     WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COMAlan Judge and James Bree at the final whistle in the defeat by Sheffield Wednesday. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

A common theme of thought leaving the ground this season has been one where I felt we didn’t do enough to win but did we really deserve to lose?

Some will say based on those missed chances by Forestieri, then yes, we did. It’s all rather inconsequential as to wondering what could have been, I suppose.

We lost, we’re going down, let’s just get it over and done with.

The emotions of a frustrating afternoon were not helped by yet another questionable performance from the referee.

Sam Hutchinson (left) brings down Collin Quaner as the German's second half run is halted.    Picture: STEVE WALLER     WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COMSam Hutchinson (left) brings down Collin Quaner as the German's second half run is halted. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

The Championship is so often touted as one of the hardest leagues in Europe, yet this season has dealt us with some of the softest officiating I can ever recall. Is it because we’re bottom and desperate for points that we are noticing it more?

I don’t think so.

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But why would there be an increase in such strange decisions? I noticed that the ITFC Twitter account was just as bemused when their tweet in the 64th minute read: ‘Flynn Downes is booked for no real reason.’

Goalkeeping coach Jimmy Walker picked up a yellow card from referee Oliver Langford, following the goal by Sheffield Wednesday in their 1-0 victory.    Picture: STEVE WALLER     WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COMGoalkeeping coach Jimmy Walker picked up a yellow card from referee Oliver Langford, following the goal by Sheffield Wednesday in their 1-0 victory. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

I’m assuming it was for dissent as it certainly was not for the foul if you could call it that.

Not for the first time this season have curious decisions gone against us when playing The Owls.

Regrettably, attentions now turn to next Sunday’s match against that lot up the road. To say I fear for this one is a huge understatement. Their result at Leeds on Saturday evening sent out a massive message in respect of their credentials for not only promotion, but possibly winning this league too.

How they’ve gone from being one of the poorest Norwich sides to show up at our place at the start of the season in many visits to where they are now is unbelievable.

Toto Nsiala pictured at the final whistle in Towns 1-0 defeat.    Picture: STEVE WALLER     WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COMToto Nsiala pictured at the final whistle in Towns 1-0 defeat. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

Based on what’s happened since, they could put five or six past us. It’s true that as it’s a local derby, anything can happen and if a shock result was in store anytime soon, then we could win.

I recall back in the 1980/81 season when we were going for the league title and they went on to be relegated. The gulf between us was considerable. Yet we lost there 1-0 in April which did nothing to keep them up and seriously dented our title chances.

MORE: Lambert has strong words for Jonas Knudsen

Who saw that one coming then?

But who really sees anything to suggest anything other than a defeat?

I spoke to several friends on Saturday and all except one questioned why they’re even going.

They are fearing the worst and to put themselves in the position they are gets my full admiration.

Should we pull off the unimaginable and win, then every single Town fan present will fully deserve the result and celebrations that will undoubtedly follow. We’ll see.

Finally, today is the 35th anniversary of Jason Dozzell scoring on his debut against Coventry City to become the top-flights’ youngest goalscorer.

It still feels like only yesterday – I wish in so many ways that it still was only yesterday.

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