For Norwich City to lose at Nottingham Forest was criminal but I know exactly how it feels

Mark Rivers scores Crewe's third goal to complete a memorable turnaround as City, under Bruce Rioch,

Mark Rivers scores Crewe's third goal to complete a memorable turnaround as City, under Bruce Rioch, squandered a two-goal lead. Picture: Archant archive

It must have been a bitter pill to swallow come five o'clock on Saturday afternoon as Norwich City lost their second consecutive away game in five days.

To lose a game in the manner they did at The City Ground is criminal with schoolboy defending at its very best, or more probably, worst!

In the late nineties we played away at Crewe and for 82 minutes we'd put in a good performance and found ourselves cruising 2-0 up but suddenly we pressed the self destruct button and conceded three goals in those last eight minutes to lose the game. We were shell-shocked walking off the pitch at Gresty Road but had no idea what was in store for us when we would reach the changing room.

Bruce Rioch was already in there waiting for us and his face looked as if it was about to explode and rightly so. We had been so naive in our defending in those final few minutes. As soon as the door closed he erupted – I'd never seen him more angry and, believe me, Bruce had a temper. He tore shreds off us individually and collectively and it seemed to go on forever.

We sat there and took everything he said in and we couldn't argue with him as he was spot on – we really had let everyone down and had thrown away what would have been three valuable points.

Anyway as Bruce turned away he booted the table that was in the middle of the dressing room as hard as he could with his leather slip-on loafers which offered little protection to his foot. It looked quite a flimsy wooden table but what he hadn't noticed was that the table's steel legs went all across the underneath of the table to keep it steady.

Unfortunately for the gaffer he caught the top of his foot right on the metal bit underneath and we all knew he had hurt himself by the noise his foot made. There was one hell of a crack and we weren't sure if he'd broken his foot on the table! We all just sat there and looked at ourselves and none of us dare break into a smile – it was that serious a situation.

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All of a sudden Bruce turned around and slowly limped into the shower room. He'd really hurt his foot but didn't want to show us he was hurting. As soon as he disappeared we all burst out laughing. We really couldn't help it as we knew what a hard man Bruce was.

To this day I don't know if he broke any bones in his foot that Saturday afternoon, but I swear I saw him receiving treatment from our physiotherapist Neal Reynolds just before he got back on the coach before our long journey back to Norfolk.