Doherty: No more room for defeats

Gary Doherty says Norwich City can't afford any more blips if they are to get their faces in the promotion picture.

Gary Doherty says Norwich City can't afford any more blips if they are to get their faces in the promotion picture.

The Canaries' good start to the season was wasted when they went on a five-game winless run that brought about Nigel Worthington's downfall - and while they have picked up under new boss Peter Grant, it's a tenure that has now been punctuated by two heavy away defeats. City have lost six of their 17 games - having lost only eight in the season they went up. The stark fact, as Doherty admitted, is they can't afford any more.

“No, we can't,” he said. “We have made up a little bit of ground recently and this has knocked us back. We have two home games coming up against teams we should beat (Hull and Leicester) so that should get us back and up and running.”

Which is easier said than done given the inconsistency, which cost them so dearly yesterday. Doherty cast a critical eye over the Portman Road playing surface but refused to make excuses.

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“We just weren't at the races,” he said. “I don't want to blame the pitch, but it was awful so we could never get our passing game going. But we can't make excuses. It wasn't good enough today and it is something we have to put right.

“The way we're set up you'd think we'd do alright away from home, hitting teams on the counter attack. We did that at Birmingham and West Brom, but today it didn't happen. We didn't create enough chances. We had a great one at 1-1 but over the game they created plenty and we didn't create enough.”

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Combine City's own ineptitude with the combination of livewire Billy Clarke and bulldog Alan Lee and it was a tough day for City's central defenders.

“Their front two really hassled and harried - then they brought on the lad who got a couple of good goals,” he said “They do harry you and it's hard to get your passing game going, especially on a pitch where you are not confident to put the ball down and pass on.”

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