Andy Hinchcliffe has backed Norwich City to retain their Premier League status next term with promotion firmly in their grasp.
The Canaries are sitting at the top of the Championship with a 10-point buffer on second place Watford with 11 fixtures remaining in the season.
While they’re not mathematically promoted just yet it seems like only a matter of time after an impressive campaign.
Norwich have been able to retain much of the same squad who joined when they were in the top flight last term, indicating that their long-term plan for how they should run the club is working.
According to Hinchcliffe, the plan is going so well that he expects the club to comfortably avoid the drop next term if they do go on to secure promotion.
Speaking on the Sky Sports’ EFL Podcast, Hinchcliffe said: “I think we were saying this two or three weeks ago because they’ve been really impressive.
“Their consistency all season has been astonishing. They deserve to be at the top of the table and yes they are going to go on and get promoted.
“You have to remember that with Norwich this is a plan that’s been in place for a number of years.
“They were looking for a head coach, a philosophy, a style of football and a group of players to play in a certain way and bring longevity in the Championship or Premier League. There was a plan in place.
“They got promoted earlier because everything went to plan in that first season, they fell out of the Premier League the next year but nothing really changed.
“Daniel Farke stayed, the philosophy is still there, Stuart Webber stayed, they kept most of their best players and they recruited well.
“This season has all been a part of the progression and plans when Stuart Webber went there and hopefully lots of clubs will look at this model.
“When they go back to the Premier League they’ll be a better team, a more rounded team and they’ll have no problems staying in the Premier League this time around.”
Quiz: Did each of these 18 ex-Norwich City players ever score a goal at Carrow Road?
Norwich City do look like the real deal this term.
Promotion is all-but confirmed and so preparations can almost begin for returning to the Premier League next term.
I have to agree with Andy Hinchcliffe that I think the Canaries could stay up next term, but if they’re to do so they’ll have to stay focused and continue what they’ve already started.