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The Blades wanted a battle – and Canaries star admits City could not counter the plan

PUBLISHED: 00:04 21 January 2018 | UPDATED: 00:04 21 January 2018

Angus Gunn goes up for a late Norwich City corner - but can't prevent defeat to Sheffield United at Carrow Road. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Angus Gunn goes up for a late Norwich City corner - but can't prevent defeat to Sheffield United at Carrow Road. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

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Angus Gunn admitted reality trumped positive intent as Norwich City succumbed to 2-1 defeat to Sheffield United at Carrow Road.

Ivo Pinto's looping header was not enough to prevent Sheffield United beating Norwich City 2-1 at Carrow Road. 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ivo Pinto's looping header was not enough to prevent Sheffield United beating Norwich City 2-1 at Carrow Road. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

James Wilson’s debut goal just six minutes in plus Clayton Donaldson’s second-half counter did the damage, rendering Ivo Pinto’s following head a mere consolation – all just three days after the Canaries’ 120-minute FA Cup marathon at Premier League Chelsea.

“The result is disappointing, but I don’t think we defended too badly in the first half,” said City goalkeeper Angus Gunn.

“It was just scrappy situations and general lacklustre behaviour from us really. You could say you expect that following Wednesday but we wanted to be on the front foot early and have a good reaction from such a tough game in midweek. Unfortunately we didn’t get that.

“You’ve got to tell yourself before the game you have got to be right on it from the first whistle to the last whistle, but when you’re on the pitch things happen, situations happen.

Clayton Donaldson celebrates scoring Sheffield United's second goal as they left Carrow Road with victory over Norwich City. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Clayton Donaldson celebrates scoring Sheffield United's second goal as they left Carrow Road with victory over Norwich City. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

MORE: Daniel Farke defends Norwich City selection policy following Sheffield United defeat

“We went down to a goal early, which was tough and then you might feel the legs a little bit more. But I thought we managed the game quite well and we stuck together, so after the physically tough week we’ve had, all in all if we had got a point here it would have been great. But it’s just unfortunate situations in the end.”

Given the fall-out from Norwich’s victory at Bramall Lane back in September, Saturday always promised to be a spicy affair.

“Whenever you play teams like Sheffield United, they are always high-intensity games and they are very good at making it aggressive and a bit of a battle, and they did that here,” said Gunn.

“We expected it and we didn’t really react to the second ball for the first goal. It was just a bit disappointing that we let them in so early and so easily.”

MORE: Norwich City supporters react to Sheffield United defeat at Carrow Road

The first goal proved an early issue, but the second midway through the second half left Norwich with too much to do – as well as being avoidable as Alex Tettey’s back pass sold Gunn short and Donaldson finished with good composure.

“I think on our part it was sloppy,” acknowledged Gunn. “It was one of those that I didn’t think I could affect, so I made a decision to stay back and defend the goal. Unfortunately the guy has come in and put it round me, and they have gone 2-0 up.

“But I thought our reaction after that was very good, considering the week we’ve had and everything like that. We kept going and on another day we could’ve got a late equaliser again (like at Chelsea). But it just wasn’t meant to be I think.”

For the latest Norwich City news and opinion follow Michael Bailey on the following channels…

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