‘If we score first nobody would talk about that’ – Defender knows Norwich got the rough end against Stoke

Christoph Zimmermann tries to digest the full-time whistle on the pitch at Carrow Road, as Norwich C

Christoph Zimmermann tries to digest the full-time whistle on the pitch at Carrow Road, as Norwich City are undone by Stoke. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Christoph Zimmermann ruled out a lack of freshness as a reason for Norwich City suffering their first defeat in nine games.

The Canaries came unstuck through Timm Klose's unfortunate first-half own goal – the perfect encouragement for Stoke's stubborn resistance.

And after such a good run, Daniel Farke's side now have to sit on a defeat for two weeks and the second international break of the season.

'I think with 13 points from six games, in general we can be happy – but if you have 13 after five, you don't want 13 after six,' said Zimmermann.

'Overall the last three weeks have been good and we've been very successful, we've played well and we should take some confidence from that.

'But obviously it's horrible to take a loss into an international break with the last game.

'I wouldn't say the work load has caught up with us. We've probably not been as fresh and as sharp as the Middlesbrough game, but still I think if we score first the game develops differently and nobody would talk about that.

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'It sounds a bit ridiculous but we were really unlucky. If you see how we conceded the goal, Stoke had just one or two chances and while we could have been a bit fresher, that was not the reason for the defeat.'

Stoke boss Gary Rowett admitted he made changes to his starting XI to counter Norwich's attacking threats and Zimmermann added: 'I think throughout the last weeks we've deserved the respect of the other teams in the league.

'We know we have very good attacking quality, especially when you can see that we can bring Onel Hernandez and Jordan Rhodes on from the bench.

'So they were threats and it's good to see people are afraid of our offensive strength. But in the end, we're disappointed with the result.'

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