Michael Bailey, from the Eastern Daily Press, gives the lowdown on Norwich's season so far ahead of Pompey’s trip to Carrow Road...
It’s been an incredible season for Norwich.
Some would have harboured a small hope they’d be in the top six at the end of the campaign, never mind second at this stage.
It’s beyond everyone’s wildest dreams – especially given the players they sold in the summer, like James Maddison.
But you’d probably argue they’re now a stronger team now. They have a deep squad, although it’s being thoroughly tested with the number of injuries at the moment.
There is real unity throughout the club, as well as on the pitch and in the stands.
The work put in place last season, which was really tough, has borne fruit. They’re not doing anything they didn’t say they wouldn’t do – there’s a very clear plan.
There has been some excellent recruitment. It has been high risk and some of it hasn’t worked out but most of it has, especially as they’ve had to turn around the finances at the club.
You could point to the fact that appointing manager Daniel Farke was a risk after coming from Borussia Dortmund’s under-23s.
He had managed first teams before, though, and the risk was everyone not knowing who he was.
Sporting director Stewart Webber knew exactly who Farke was.
And given what happened at Huddersfield, where he worked with David Wagner, Webber has a pretty good record of appointing managers. He has done a remarkable job.
The Canaries’ form has dipped a bit lately and I think a lot of teams in the Championship are expecting it to unravel.
It’s been a surprise and something Norwich have had to deal with.
To be fair, they’ve had a few injuries recently, which has effected them.
In their 4-3 loss to Derby, the game ended ridiculously. In normal circumstances, Norwich wouldn't lose that match.
And then in the draw against Brentford, maybe things caught up with them.
But despite a drop in form, they’re still second in the Championship. it will get better, I’m sure.
Norwich ultimately want to be playing in the Premier League next season and an FA Cup run fits as a distraction.
It would be a good distraction if it was fun but nobody would want it to interrupt the league form.