It isn't over just yet. We are slowly - slowly - getting a touch more composure. The big problem is we don't yet look particularly dangerous. As long as we don't concede again, the game is at least there to play for.
2-1 becomes a different kettle of fish; 3-0 is absolutely game over. With only a goal lead, Norwich might get anxious and Wycombe proved that you can concede a costly equaliser at any moment.
Right now, 2-2 and extra time is our aim. Get that next goal and make a game of it. Don't focus on coming back to win 3-2 just yet.
My main disappointment is that what I feared came to pass - that we just didn't turn up for the first 20 minutes at least. That is pretty gutting, as we haven't given a fair account of ourselves and it could cost us. We don't deserve to be level right now, but that doesn't mean we can't make it more competitive again.
We should probably gamble and just totally change either or formation or personnel.
Sometimes, you can stick with what you have got out there, confident that the current result is a freak of nature and a goal will come. There is a sense that being a goal or two down is an abhorrent crime against fate and that you will overturn it.
What's worrying, is what I have been satin egg for the past 45 minutes - how flat, lifeless and frightened we look. We aren't really "playing" out there, we are just sleep-walking through it. And that is more disappointing than losing I think. Should it stay 2-0, I'll be more disappointed that we just didn't turn up (maybe OB will disagree with me, and saying turning up and being mugged is worse).
I am also perhaps being unfair on Norwich, who have looked comfortable and taken their chances. Only 2 shots on target, so I don't think they have done anything outstanding, just taken their chances and took advantage of how dire we have been. At the moment, we don't deserve to be level, so to be honest I am not as anxious or as worried about the result as I could be. Had we not been so passive and tepid, I would be more nervous about what could happen.
Just seen the first goal again. Totally preventable at about three different times. I mentioned how important that first goal would be, and to gift it to them, is a real shame. Second was a great team goal from them.
I was there when Swansea went in 3-0 up at half time, and that was far from game over. Only a heroic double block from Monk stopped Reading making it 3-3 with LOADS of time left to go. 2-0 is definitely not over.
I don't think we will do it, but it can be done. Like I said, what is more worrying is how we have been playing. We need to start the second half afresh and just not think of what has happened. We have nothing to lose in this second half.
And we don't need to come back to win 3-2. Just get two goals and force extra time, then anything can happen. The next 15 minutes will show whether we can shake our malaise off and make a go of it. A goal then, and we have a totally different scenario unfolding. 3-0 is insurmountable. Conceding again will just show we haven't changed anything from the first half, so we won't come back from that.
Personally, I don't think we will score today, but you never know.
Steve Claridge is right on the BBC text feed that we just didn't look right after we conceded the first goal. We look a little better this half so far, but time is going to be increasingly against us. We can't get back into the slowly or gradually.
You'll get chances, the more we have to chase it. It happened at Fulham when we came back from 3-1, but then lost the game going for a winner.
It's about taking the chances. We will likely get a chance which we have to put away, and Norwich will probably also get one where they should score. It's just about what happens when those chances come.
We at least look lively now. I don't ask that my team is always in a winning position or completely on top, but I at least like to see some life in them.
We've been the better team possibly in the second half, but then again, the 2-0 lead allows Norwich to not exactly exert themselves at every opportunity. They did their hard work in the first 20 minutes. Had we started the game like this, we might have been in the game for longer than 15 minutes.
I do wonder, because our coach was delayed so we only got there at about 2:10pm, that we didn't have chance to adjust to the surroundings and get some sharpness, but that doesn't account for how fast Norwich came at us. Like I said, it's what we did so effectively to them at Carrow Road a month ago. At both times, it's shell shocked the other side.
There isn't enough time left for us now, I reckon. So disappointing we only gave ourselves 45 minutes to perform in. There's no excuse for that. You can't expect to win a match with only 45 minutes and with 2 goals down.
Well, firstly, you have to say Norwich deserved it. It would be interesting to see if this makes it any more disappointing than getting mugged like Derby. My main complaint is that we made them look good and gave them the chance to impose their superiority. We couldn't mentally cope with conceding a goal, and if you have that problem, you will freeze.
Secondly, it is a little galling some of the commentary hailing Norwich's promotion as miraculous. They were only relegated a year ago and kept the nucleus of their squad intact. I think they were amongst the two favorites to go up. Saying that, there is no reason we should have come away feeling like plucky underdogs. Likewise, Neil seems like a good manager and has done well. We should have coped more with the occasion and done more.
It is easy to now go into a post-mortem - was Bamford fit, did we prepare the best way before the game - but I am looking at next season.
The defeat is gutting because there is absolutely no guarantee you will get a second bite of the cherry. It isn't just a case of thinking we will eventually go up and it is just a case of "when" - we could conceivably finish anywhere in that bloody league next year.
Summer recruitment is key. We had the best defense in the league last season, but goals cost us. Even today, we couldn't rely on firepower to make the game a contest again. There is no sense of inevitability, the sense that we will score at some pointz
Bamford will probably go, and will be a big loss. I would like to think we could persuade him to stay and try and finish the job next season, but he'll likely want to try his hand at PL football. That will make our attack weaker. We need to get a proven goal scorer in, which is easier said than done.
We weren't far off promotion this season - had we beaten Bournemouth or Watford away, it is likely we may have gone up automatically at their expense. Such fine margins, but we can't afford to stand still, as it will be just as close next year.
What this has shown me is just hep tough and arduous the season is. It is the first time we have been in contention for automatic promotion all the way through, and it is so hard just to keep up there. We kept winning and kept keeping clean sheets, but a few slip ups cost us. It's going to be tough to do that again.
What I really want now, is to be able to play the first game of next season right now. Starting from scratch is going to be tough, but I want to get on with that job now, not wallow in what might have been or in self-pity.
Always nice to hear from someone with experience in such situations.
Of course we would probably get relegated at some point again. Unless you are a club that has the sheer financial clout to be apart from the eternal cycle of the hope of promotion, and the fear of relegation is what football is about for 80% of the other teams. Only a select few exist in a bubble sealed off from this. There's no shame in that.
Norwich will go down again as well *eventually* too.
As it stands, before our pitiful relegation in 2009, we had actually shed the tag of yo-yo club and had ten years in the PL. We have now shed the tag, as we can't seem to do the "bouncing back up" part.
I have a friend who is a Norwich fan, and I don't mind them as a club.
Trying to be objective and a neutral though, and I like to see teams go up who haven't been in the PL or haven't been there for a while. I don't like teams going straight back up, and sometimes fear that having a PL squad and PL finances could unsettle the fine balance of the championship (this hasn't come to pass so far, mind).
So ideally, I wouldn't stick Norwich in my non-Boro top three, as they had their chance in the PL last year. I always go on about the dream triumvirate of Boro/Derby/Blackburn, and at least all three have been absent for a while.
Likewise, had we not been in contention, it would have been nice to see Brentford up there, or even Ipswich.