Reading's late equaliser means Premier League-hunting Norwich City cannot put the champagne on ice just yet
Given how agonisingly close Norwich City were to securing a ninth straight Championship win, Wednesday night’s draw against Reading feels like a missed opportunity in the quest for promotion.
On a night where City fans were forced to endure a rollercoaster of emotions, Andy Rinomhota’s last-gasp leveller was enough to ensure the Royals left Carrow Road with a 2-2 draw – that after Daniel Farke’s side had staged a stirring late comeback.
Had City held on for all three points – in turn opening up a nine-point gap to third place Sheffield United with just five games to play – I would have been sitting here praising the patience, resilience and never say die attitude of this young squad.
In fact, I would have been confident enough to call for the champagne to be put on ice, with a place in the top flight all but assured.
Now of course, one late goal does little to change the belief I have in this Norwich side – and with a seven-point gap to third, the Promised Land remains very much within City’s grasp – but there is still work to do.
That starts with a trip to Wigan on Sunday lunchtime, where Farke will be expecting a reaction from his side.
The big call will be how to replace the influential Emi Buendia, who sits out the second match of a three-game ban.
City failed to get that balance right on Wednesday and I would be surprised not to see Mario Vrancic or Moritz Leitner recalled to the starting line-up, with Kenny McLean pushed into a more advanced role.
To end on a positive, I want to congratulate Teemu Pukki and Max Aarons for being named Championship Player and Young Player of the year respectively.
Both have been exceptional this year – in very different ways – and fully deserve their personal accolades.
But for now, all eyes are firmly fixed on the collective prize – promotion. Let’s go out and get it.