Monday, January 14, 2013
Michael Turner welcomed the point that ended Norwich City’s losing run, but that and a sixth Premier League clean sheet are about all Saturday’s drab encounter with struggling Newcastle will be remembered for.
Most left Carrow Road with a niggling frustration at failing to record a first top-flight victory since mid-December.
But while City’s attacking play often misfired, they also looked in little danger of losing to a Magpies outfit that are two points off the relegation zone and have just two wins from their previous 13 league games.
Norwich’s position remains much more healthy despite their stuttering form, although Saturday’s trip to Liverpool and Tottenham’s visit over the coming fortnight means things won’t get any easier for Chris Hughton’s men.
“Obviously it is a huge positive we can take from this, to get a point on the board after the four defeats we have had and of course the clean sheet is always nice, especially for me as a defender. And I think we defended well as a whole team.
“But it does feel a little bit like two points that got away. We didn’t create as many chances as we would have hoped for. We put another point on the board but we are a little bit disappointed that we didn’t turn that into three.
“We felt comfortable we were going to keep them out and we always felt we were going to find a breakthrough. We had a few half decent chances that maybe we could have done a bit better with, but all in all we are disappointed with our play in the final third.
“I suppose today should’ve been expected as both teams have been out of form, but we have got out of that little losing streak we were in. Obviously Newcastle have been struggling a little bit and it was an opportunity for us to put three points on the board. It just wasn’t meant to be.”
Having been on an unbeaten run for half of this season’s 2012 programme, the Canaries’ festive wobble has not been great news – but Turner denied it has had a negative impact on morale.
“No I don’t think we did start doubting ourselves,” said the centre-back. “We’ve had some tough games in that period against two top teams at home and then really tough away games, and we thought we were a little bit unlucky to not get anything from those two.
“I think we were the team that was going to win this one if anyone was going to, so obviously a home game against Newcastle who are below us in the league and struggling a little bit, it would’ve been nice to get the three big points but we take a point and after the four defeats we go from there.”
As a former Sunderland player, Turner missed out any noticeable stick from their arch rivals’ visit – unlike former Newcastle defender Sebastien Bassong.
“Yes, I didn’t get much at all in this one so I was pleased with that,” Turner added. “Seb being a former Newcastle player, I suppose he was always going to get a bit from their fans but I think he took it well.”
Something that could not be said for the majority of City’s set-pieces.
“The manager did mention that after the games that he was disappointed with the balls that were coming in from the free-kicks and corners,” he said.
“But we have done well from those situations throughout the season so hopefully we’ll get back to doing well on that front.
“It is frustrating when those attacks aren’t coming off but as a defender you just keep concentrating and be prepared for anything they have got to throw at you. We kept plugging away but I think it is disappointing in the end not be able to take one of them.”