Monday, December 24, 2012
Norwich City winger Robert Snodgrass believes the Canaries let a big opportunity to extend their 10-game unbeaten run slip through their fingers at The Hawthorns.
The Canaries were in total control for 43 minutes against the Baggies and thoroughly merited the advantage given to them by Snodgrass’ wonderful free kick midway through the half.
But the referee’s assistant’s decision to award West Brom a corner just before the break when replays showed the final touch came off James Morrison proved costly. Zoltan Gera prodded home from the resulting set-piece to restore parity and the pattern of the match completely changed after the break with City unable to sustain the heights of their first half display.
“It was a game we could have won today but that goal before half-time changed things,” said Snodgrass. “That was the turning point because we were absolutely coasting – they couldn’t get near us.
“It wasn’t even a corner to start off with. I said to the ref as well to watch the foul on the keeper.
“These things sometimes go for you or against you. This one went against us but we still need to defend and we didn’t do that.
“Every one of the lads was focused to get a result but it won’t work if you gift teams goals. It was very hard to take – it just shows you how well we are doing that we are gutted to lose. We did well in spells but we gifted them two easy goals and we are better than that.
“We’ve got a busy period coming up so hopefully we can put things right.”
With City dominating possession in the first half they should have had more to show for their efforts than Snodgrass’ free-kick but, without Grant Holt through injury, the Canaries lacked a focal point up front.
Steve Morison deputised but looked to be lacking in confidence – demonstrated by his spurning of a presentable chance just after half-time when his hesitation allowed Gareth McAuley to get a block in after he had been sent through on goal.
Snodgrass admitted City missed Holt’s presence but backed Morison to come good given a run in the side.
“Grant’s (Holt) a big player for us but I thought Steve Morison did really well,” added the summer signing from Leeds. “He was unlucky with his chance – the boy came in with a really good block for his chance.
“He has been unfortunate that when he has come in we’ve lost. He’s a great player and he may be needs a run of games as well. I don’t know how long Holt is going to be out for but he’s a big player for us.”
Despite the reverse Snodgrass insists the Canaries have given themselves an excellent platform to go on and secure a top-half finish in the second half of the season.
“We have got that belief – do we want to be up there fighting at the top half of the table – I really think we could do that,” said Snodgrass with City still sitting pretty in 10th place. “We’ve got great players here with a great management team – that bodes well for us to keep climbing.
“I’m not saying we deserve to be higher but we’ve earned the right to play in this Premier League and to win in it requires belief and I believe we’ve got that here.”
A sense of perspective replaced some of the weekend’s disappointment when other results showed the gap between the Canaries and the bottom three remained at 10 points.
“We are tenth in the Premier League going into Christmas and we would have bitten anyone’s hand off for that at the start of the season,” said Snodgrass.
“We were on a great run but it’s a test of our character now – can we bounce back and we need to be ready for the challenge – that’s what we’ve got to get on with.”