Audio: Aaron Wilbraham happy to score, but Norwich City misses play on his mind
Aaron Wilbraham can officially call himself a Premier League goalscorer after his strike at Craven Cottage – but it was the missed opportunities that were playing on his mind come the final whistle.
The 32-year-old's deflected 77th minute strike proved to be only a consolation on a frustrating afternoon for Norwich City in Putney.
And although Wilbraham's goal was the 100th in his career, the two missed chances that fell to the City striker either side of it could well have earned the Canaries a draw their second-half pressure merited.
'I'm a bit more disappointed about those (misses) than I am (happy) about scoring my goal,' admitted Wilbraham. 'I think I should have done better, especially with the volley because I like those kind of shots and my first touch was good. I think I just snatched a bit at it.
'But if I keep getting in those positions I'll put more away than I will miss hopefully.'
A century of career goals did at least raise a smile from the striker, whose first came for Stockport in a 4-1 defeat to his boyhood club Manchester City at Maine Road on April 4, 1998.
'Obviously it's always nice to score your first Premier League goal – I wish it could have been in different circumstances with three points but it was a good feeling to get it,' said Wilbraham.
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'It's a special one because it's my 100th career goal as well. To score it in the Premier League is just the way the script is written.
'It was a good feeling…I just wish it was something like the winner, but it is really special.'
The introduction of Wilbraham and at half-time, Simeon Jackson, added extra threat to City's front line – but Wilbraham lamented the two early goals that ultimately cost City a positive result. He said: 'It was the old big man, small man combination but we did all right together. Simeon is a good player and we had two options then, with the big man and then Simeon to go in behind.
'Everyone played well really. It's just unfortunate we gave two bad goals away. We definitely deserved something. We played well from start to finish, we just can't really come away from home and give a goal away that early in the game.
'Both were sloppy goals and it's an uphill battle after that, but apart from that we dominated the game.
'The way we kept doing what we wanted to do from the start of the game was good, and it continued – especially in the second half. I think we were in their half for throughout the whole of that, so if we just keep playing like that we'll get more good results than bad.'
Wilbraham is yet to start a league game this season and while appearances – both this season and last – may have been fleeting, City boss Paul Lambert believes the striker has been key to Norwich's recent success.
'I'm delighted for him because he's been really patient but he is a top pro,' said Lambert. 'He really is, not just on the pitch but off it. He's a proper lad. When you get these type of people about your club they're vital to you. And Aaron has been pivotal to what has happened here.
'He played at Leicester with a really bad back injury and he played and scored that night, then we lost him for a bit. So I'm really appreciative of what he does for us.'
And while Wilbraham could understandably feel in need of more first-team football, he is at ease with his role this season: 'Obviously I love being involved and I have wanted to be more involved than I have been, but there are a lot of people in that position in the squad and we have got a good team spirit and we are all together – everyone,' he added. 'The gaffer knows when he gives anyone the chance that they are going to come in and do a job for him, and that's what me and a few others have had to do this season.
'The lads have been playing well and we have had a good season, and we have just got to keep going now for the remained of the season.'