Top brass issue rallying call

Far from the spur of the moment nature of her last, well-publicised attempt to gee up Canaries fans, Delia Smith and her husband, Michael Wynn-Jones, have issued a statement in an attempt to appease disillusioned fans.

The message, posted on the club's official website, emphasises the majority shareholders' support for the continuing efforts of the staff and echoes the frustrations of fans who have seen the pre season promotion favourites stutter to 18th in the Championship table.

The statement was prompted by the vitriolic abuse the City directors suffered at Loftus Road on Saturday after the side surrendered meekly to QPR. One fan is said to have removed his club tie and hurled it in the direction of board members.

The celebrity chef and publisher point to some encouraging performances earlier in the season as proof that nothing is seriously wrong at the club. A rash of injuries, which has prevented manager Nigel Worthington from fielding anything like his strongest team for weeks, is cited as another reason to delay any action on the future of City's coaching staff.

The statement also points out that it has been difficult to motivate a relegated side, who have also had to adapt to a much harsher, less aesthetically pleasing approach to the beautiful game in the lower division.

While the considered words may not go far in appeasing those calling for the head of Worthington, it at least goes some way to support the Ulsterman and discourages the sort of panic that might prove detrimental to the club's efforts to get back on track.

it now remains to be seen how fans and players will react in Wednesday's Carling Cup clash at Birmingham and, crucially, at Carrow Road on Saturday against lowly Sheffield Wednesday.