If David Wagner turns up for Norwich City’s next match with a wooden dining chair and a whip it will be no surprise. He’s had the energy of a disgruntled lion tamer in recent post-match interviews.

The beast that Wagner has long been wrangling to win control of is the Carrow Road crowd. When the final whistle sounded on Saturday to clinch a fine 2-1 win over high-flying Coventry City there was a genuine mood of celebration.

Could it be that Norwich City’s head coach is winning over the trust of a ground so feisty that part of it takes pride in being nicknamed ‘The Snake Pit’?

Wagner’s main problem has been that few animals are as stubborn as football supporters. Once they have made their minds up about you that’s usually it. Most Norwich fans had decided earlier this season that they wanted a change of manager.

It’s a long way back from that point and very few ever make it. Perhaps we are witnessing one of the great survival stories.

Back on November 5, Norwich City really needed a win in a home match against Blackburn Rovers. They were 2-0 down after 15 minutes and went on to lose 3-1. It was the sort of result that could have been the final straw for a manager.

We’ve been there before at Carrow Road for sure. It would have been no surprise to see Wagner walking across the car park holding a cardboard box with the contents of his desk inside that evening.

When the club announced that new sporting director Ben Knapper was to arrive earlier than anticipated there was enough writing on Wagner’s wall to make a graffiti artist worry about running out of spray paint. Or so it seemed.

The Pink Un: Has David Wagner got Norwich City fans back onside?

That Blackburn defeat is a useful line in the sand. It remains the last time the Canaries lost at home. It was also the 15th match of the Championship season, Saturday’s was the 30th. The second third of the campaign has been so much more impressive than the first.

Norwich have taken 27 points from the 15 matches since Blackburn. It puts them fifth in the Championship during that time. Unfortunately, they only won 17 points from the first 15 games and that’s why it’s taken a run of almost promotion winning form just to get back to within touching distance of the top six.

It also explains why Wagner’s approval rating had slipped so badly. Since returning after lockdown Norwich City supporters had sat through a meek Premier League relegation and then a mid-table Championship campaign during which they didn’t score at all at home after February.

They had forgotten what it felt like to turn up to a home game actually expecting a win. That’s why, when Coventry took the lead on Saturday after a spell of poor defending, the sinking feeling returned rather quickly.

A pessimist is never disappointed has been the slogan in the stands at Carrow Road in the post-Covid era.

Wagner will point to the fact that he had a big injury list to contend with in the hard going months of September and October. He has a point. So far this season Josh Sargent, Ashley Barnes and Borja Sainz have only been on the pitch together for 157 minutes of Championship football, less than two games in total.

Sargent has scored in each of his last four home league matches but that run stretches back to August.

However, City supporters who did doubt are also being proved right too. They felt that the team they love was capable of better than the 17th place in the Championship in which they languished at the start of November.

Wagner had a good day on Saturday. The changes he made weren’t universally popular. In the end Barnes and Sam McCallum justified being brought on before the shiny new toy that is Sydney van Hooijdonk by being involved in the goals Norwich needed to turn it round.

Will Wagner pull off the toughest circus trick there is and get a stadium full of fans to admit they were wrong?

There are 16 Championship games left. Over the past 10 seasons it’s taken an average of 74.4 points to make the play-offs. If Norwich repeat their recent run and collect another 27 from their next 15 they’ll go into the final match of the season at Birmingham on 71 points.

The standards that have been set in recent months must be maintained. Wagner had better get cracking that whip.

Salty managers

“They were definitely one of the best sides that have played here this season.” The kind assessment of Daniel Farke after his Leeds United team beat Norwich City at Elland Road a fortnight ago.

It’s easy to be magnanimous in victory. Another promising sign for Canaries fans recently has been the number of Championship managers whose post-match comments have had a more salty flavour.

Russell Martin and Kieran McKenna questioned Norwich’s tactics after draws against Southampton and Ipswich. Liam Rosenior, the Hull manager, raged about the referee when City won there. On Saturday Mark Robins was unhappy about some of the tackles on his best attacking players.

Let’s not be too blinkered, there are elements of truth in some of those comments but they should still be music to yellow and green ears.

An ability to get under the skin of opponents was a trait of the successful Paul Lambert era at Carrow Road. A bit of devilment is one of the qualities that’s been lacking. How often have fans complained that Norwich are ‘too easy to play against’ in recent years?

Those post-match interviews are conducted so close to the end of the game that emotions are running high. It stands to reason that when a manager is nice about your team, they have usually just beaten you.