Matt Jarvis knee injury adds insult to injury for Norwich City
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Alex Neil faces an anxious wait to learn the full extent of Matt Jarvis' knee injury that forced Norwich City's on-loan midfielder to depart early at the Etihad.
Jarvis brought a fine stop out of Manchester City's England keeper Joe Hart in the first period but did not emerge after the interval following treatment for a knee problem.
Andre Wisdom was already ruled out for up to a fortnight prior to the game with what Neil labelled a grade one knee injury sustained in the Capital One Cup exit at Everton. Neil admitted after watching his side squander a point at Manchester City Jarvis' injury absence would be a major blow after the wide player again underlined his value to the cause in a new-look shape.
'He just went in for a tackle in the first half and I think opened up his knee a little bit so we're hoping that is not going to be too bad as he has been excellent for us,' said Neil. 'Systems can be changed, it's about players. I think anybody watching Norwich this season will have been surprised by our approach because they won't have seen that but I knew we had to do that for us to get something, and we were extremely effective against some quality players on the pitch; we limited to them to very little, mostly set-pieces that came into our box or outside.
'You wouldn't say they created any real chances by their good play.
'That is the first time I have played the three here and then two wing-backs who dropped in to help us but also had the licence to get forward. We worked on it during the week and I thought it worked really well. Manchester City struggled to break us down and that was testament to how hard we worked and why it was so hard to take. For large parts of games we have been as good as, if not better than, a lot of teams we have played so far.
'The easiest thing to do is set your team up defensively as a coach. It is much, much harder to try and be a threat the other way as well. The last couple of results here they have scored five each time and it would have been naïve of us, and of me, to try and go toe-to-toe with Manchester City.
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'The whole gameplan was to sit in, frustrate them and then try to hit them on the counter and to be fair I thought in the first half, although they dominated, we had two really good opportunities.
'Matt Jarvis had a shot from the edge of the box and Alex Tettey was free at the back post on a corner. We did it very efficiently. The bottom line is I knew this would be different task to any we had faced before so I knew we had to adopt a different approach.'