Norwich City won’t be promoted this season.  

Sunday’s defeat to Sunderland should have finally put to bed any hope us fans still had of getting into the Premier League via the play-offs. 

It was such a frustrating game. If we turn up to Carrow Road and play as well as we can, but still get beaten, then fair enough. Sometimes you are just outplayed by a better team. But to leave the ground feeling that the team never did themselves justice, that they never really turned up, that is really irritating.  

Sunderland had been thrashed 5-1 on their own turf last week, yet City never made it hard for them to keep a clean sheet. It really felt like we could have sat there for several more hours and still not seen our side score. 

Afterwards, David Wagner said that we didn’t do things quickly enough and that we weren’t at “our level”. The lack of urgency was alarming - at times it seemed like the pre-match preparation had been a large dose of Nytol.  

I dispute that energetic, high pressing is really “our level” though. I’ve seen far more of these lethargic performances this season. Perhaps that is the level we’re actually at and Wagner’s talking about the level he wants to get the squad to. 

Bottom line is, no play-offs this season. We are far too inconsistent to sustain the kind of push you need. This squad needs a rebuild. God help us if we somehow did find a way to sneak into the end-of-season circus and emerge victorious, as the subsequent Premier League season could rival Derby County in 2007-08 for awfulness. 

Still, the atmosphere was good. The PA system was back in action after its eerie silence in the Cardiff game (I discovered via email that it had developed a major fault on the morning of the match) and doing its job getting the crowd going. 

There was something of a split between the supporters this week when it was announced that three of a yellow and green persuasion had been banned from attending matches for their behaviour at Millwall last week. One of them, reportedly, had thrown a pyrotechnic onto the pitch after our second goal. 

I fully support the bans. I find pyrotechnics (flares, smoke bombs, etc.) completely pointless and dangerous. I’ve never seen one thrown onto the pitch, whether in person or on TV, and not been annoyed by the sight.  

The Pink Un: Norwich City try to get the crowd going with pyrotechnics before their match against SunderlandNorwich City try to get the crowd going with pyrotechnics before their match against Sunderland (Image: Focus Images)

When I commented on Facebook about how pleased I was to see the club’s zero tolerance policy on these things being put into action, I was rather surprised by the response.  

Judging by the likes, plenty of people agreed with me. But a fair number thought I was a killjoy and told me so in a variety of colourful ways. I have to say, it appeared to be a younger group of Canaries (I guess at 30 I can no longer claim membership of that particular group) and they were of the opinion that pyrotechnics helped to create an atmosphere and that a lot of the clubs in Europe use them all the time. 

Sorry, but it’s a ‘no’ from me. By all means, let’s have some pyrotechnics when the teams emerge from the Carrow Road tunnel -  but ones put there by the club, following the relevant safety guidelines.  

If they continue to be used in the stands, someone WILL get hurt, so it’s important that we make it clear that if you’re found with one then that will be the last City match you’ll be going to for a while.  

I hate to be one of those guys, but the fans of this great club have managed to create a perfectly good atmosphere for decades without feeling the need to throw flares on the pitch or set off foul-smelling smoke bombs. 

If some clubs in Europe use them, fine. Leave them there.