January 25 2015 Latest news:
Sunday, April 20, 2014
Player after player, happy to stop for a chat to the waiting journalists in the mixed zone. That’s what happens when you’re top of the league and not a lot of points from the Premier League title. Especially when you’re going about your business with the style and bravery Liverpool are currently exuding.
The story was a little tricker for Robert Snodgrass, tasked with facing the other side of the questioning as Norwich City tried to absorb their fourth defeat in a row.
They are still out of the top-flight relegation zone, yet the feeling remains when rather than if.
And that despite the kind of rallying performance City have only mustered twice before in the league this season – at home to Everton and West Ham.
Sadly, gallant efforts don’t earn you points – although judging by the reaction of Carrow Road to the final whistle, they do earn you credit. And that was running pretty low too. But it didn’t change the fact City’s failings are spanning managerial reigns. Crucial moments simply aren’t going Norwich’s way, whoever the opposition.
“Obviously if you’re not going to be up for a fight now, then there’s no point really – we’re in a relegation dogfight, we’re playing against the team that’s top of the league; we had to be ready,” said Snodgrass.
“The boy (Raheem Sterling) puts one in the top corner and then in the second half they get a deflection that lobs the keeper. Those little bits do change games and probably a little bit of nerves crept in as well.
“That’s part and parcel of football and that’s probably to be expected when things aren’t going well for you, and the results are not going quite right. But in the second half we looked like a different team.
“The manager will be scratching his head wondering why we can’t start like that. We will assess things during the week and look over the game, and we need to try to put it right against Manchester United.”
And that last comment does a good job of summing up where City are – because if they can’t put it right at Old Trafford, they will have to put it right at either Stamford Bridge or at home to Arsenal.
“The table doesn’t lie,” he added. “We’re where we are for a reason –we haven’t won enough games. We’ve not taken our chances.
“Under the old manager as well, we had chances. And here, you’re expected to have a go when you are two goals down, trying to get back in it. That’s exactly what we’ve done. It wasn’t to be – the quality they have shown in the right areas and at the right times is why they are top.
“When teams go in front down the bottom, they put everybody behind the ball. Liverpool never did that. They go for the jugular. They go all out. They’re hungry for goals. That’s the way they play. So there were always going to be chances for us. We knew that.
“But also, we knew how good they were going forward. Every time they went forward, they go for the jugular – and that’s the way it should be.”
Slipping to a two-goal deficit inside the opening 11 minutes meant Norwich were always chasing the game – even if such blinding starts have become something of a trademark for Liverpool this season.
“It’s a big ask, especially when you give teams like Liverpool two goals to start – which isn’t usually like us at Carrow Road; we usually start the game really well,” added Snodgrass.
“It was a big ask then in the second half, but I thought we gave a great account of ourselves. We rolled our sleeves up and gave the maximum effort that obviously, we should have done since the start of the game.
“They have started like that against Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal. They’ve done that against them all.
“But fair play to the boys, we hung on in there. And you could see from the crowd at the end – they were standing up, cheering us, because that’s what they expect every game. That’s the minimum. And that’s exactly what we did.”