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Norwich City missed their big chance insists Derby boss Steve McClaren

Johnny Russell slots Derby County ahead in a 2-2 Championship draw against Norwich City. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Johnny Russell slots Derby County ahead in a 2-2 Championship draw against Norwich City. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

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Steve McClaren admitted Norwich City have the wow factor in the Championship but they blew their big chance to beat his Derby County.

The Rams’ chief had mixed emotions watching his side pegged back in the final minutes following a gruelling week that saw them lose to promotion rivals Middlesbrough and slip out of the Capital One Cup against Chelsea.

McClaren made it clear City had no such distractions in the build-up and the visitors’ strength in depth was underlined by Neil Adams’ second-half substitutions at the iPro Stadium.

“I would say it was a very good chance for Norwich to win at Derby. Our preparation for this game was a lot different to that of Norwich,” he said. “When you have a week to prepare for a game you are going to be full of energy and they were. They have good players as well and it took everything and every ounce of effort to ward them off.

“When they got their first equaliser, I said we would have to show tremendous character to come back from that and they did. To get the players up for it emotionally was always going to be difficult.

“I was always wary of this game - against a very good Norwich team by the way who can bring on Nathan Redmond, Wes Hoolahan and Lewis Grabban. Wow, what a squad, but you have a lot of games like this in a season and it is important you grind them out. We have done that.”

The Canaries’ former academy graduate Chris Martin was key to the Rams’ response with a clever assist for Johnny Russell’s opener and a cool penalty to put them back in front after getting his body in front of Carlos Cuellar.

“He has been fantastic for us,” said McClaren. “He’ll be the first to admit it is also down to his team mates around him and the service they provide.

“He still has to do the business and he has been doing it. He was tremendous and didn’t get the rewards he deserved in terms of three points.

“We needed Chrissy to lead from the front and he did that. Johnny Russell has been a revelation for the last couple of months since he got into the team. The two of them have struck up a brilliant partnership and you saw Johnny at the end, he couldn’t move. He was still chasing, though, and helping out to try and get the result.”

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8 comments

  • I noticed we've now played 4 of the top 6 away from home and 7 of the top 11 (excluding us makes it top 10). Need to sort our home form for rest of the season and we should end in good shape with all those teams yet to come to us.

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    Double D

    Monday, December 22, 2014

  • 30 years ago Jasper Carrott used to do this routine about Birmingham City , and the post-match phone-ins they used to have ( every bit as hilarious as our very own Radio Sugar-Beet post-match Idiot-call ) " Eee 'it this one ball , Kevin , and if'it'd gone in it'd'ave bin a Goal ! " So yes , Norwich missed their chance . No change there then in 40-odd years .

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    Bring on Foggo

    Monday, December 22, 2014

  • Post match bigging up of the opposition to put a shine on the result, there's a novelty. I am sorry that Steve had such a problem building up the players emotionally for a home game in which they could have gone top of the league. Maybe that's the same problem he had with the England team.

    Report this comment

    Swiss Canary

    Monday, December 22, 2014

  • “To get the players up for it emotionally was always going to be difficult.” – yes Steve, I understand where you are coming from 100%. At this time of advert, it is well known that waiting for the birth of Baby Jesus can be particularly unsettling for Derby players. May I suggest you get Chrisy Martin to take the lead in singing ‘Silent Night (aka ipswich fans at home)’ or possibly ‘Away (at Bournemouth) in a Manger’. The rest of the squad could join in, settling their little hearts and giving them the peace they require to do their day jobs properly. Failing that, why don’t you dress up as Mary and recreate the nativity on the Pride Park pitch, popping Baby Jesus out into the top left corner of the net. Or as a third and final option you could just stop making tired excuses and just except you were outplayed, being very lucky to get even 1 point? You know where the door is Steve - don’t forget your brolley on the way out.

    Report this comment

    DeanConeyLegend

    Monday, December 22, 2014

  • Who are you trying to kid McClaren? It's your team who have blown their chance - at home, in front of a capacity crowd, and with the help of the referee. Remember that Derby still have to play at Carrow Road. OTBC!!!

    Report this comment

    Mellow_Yellow

    Monday, December 22, 2014

  • The Wally brought Will Hughes (£15m rated) off the bench - think their bench is pretty good as well. Don't rise to him, deflecting the criticism springs to mind................

    Report this comment

    becclesboy

    Monday, December 22, 2014

  • He's simply saying this to make his players feel better and try and make our players and fans feel deflated and expecting more. Don't fall for it, he knows this could be the beginning of a very, very strong run and he's trying to play mind games to weaken that all he can. We were much better than them, mental or physical fitness should not be a problem at this level. If it is...there's a problem and he knows that, hence the mind games.

    Report this comment

    JimBob

    Monday, December 22, 2014

  • McClaren is the latest to big up our squad. On the basis of much of this hype you'd expect us to be top of the table rather than in seventh place, four points off the playoffs. The only true measure of our collective abilities is that mirrored in our league position. Meanwhile Bournemouth go about their business with quiet efficiency, looking every bit a promotion team.

    Report this comment

    malaga flier

    Monday, December 22, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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