'Terrible' - McLean angered by City's performance against Arsenal
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Kenny McLean knows Norwich City’s players have no defence for the criticism that comes their way after admitting to a ‘terrible’ performance during a 5-0 defeat to Arsenal.
The Boxing Day thrashing at Carrow Road left the Canaries bottom after four consecutive defeats, failing to score for the fifth time in six games.
“It was terrible,” the midfielder admitted. “We went behind early, never looked like getting back in the game, always looked in a bit of trouble.
“It’s just disappointing because we don’t want to be seen as that team that was out there today, we need to show more character, more grit.
There’s still plenty of fight in us but that result was not good enough, everybody knows it, we all saw it. We can say as much as we like in the changing room but things need to change on the pitch.”
The fourth-placed Gunners made mincemeat of the hosts, also having a goal disallowed for offside as they dominated, with McLean cutting a frustrated figure after full-time.
A classy brace from England star Bukayo Saka sandwiched a lovely goal from McLean’s Scotland team-mate, left-back Kieran Tierney, before an Alexandre Lacazette penalty and some salt for the wound in injury-time from substitute Emile Smith Rowe.
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“We’re not going into the game thinking about them having more resources than us, or whatever. We know they’ve got quality but they didn’t have to show much,” the 29-year-old continued.
“Everything that they got was too easy. When you’re playing against good teams you need to minimise the mistakes and be hard to beat – and we were the total opposite.
That needs to change and fast because we need to pick ourselves up and go and fight for some points.”
There were boos at half-time and full-time, as well as at different points during the game, and McLean didn’t shy away from that anger.
“The atmosphere comes from us on the pitch,” he added. “If we’re doing our job and we’re doing the simple things - winning 50-50s, winning corners, getting up on second balls – the fans react to that.
“They react to that and get on our side, it gives us a lift but it comes from us. We need to do more to give them more and we feed off of that.”
McLean was tugged to the floor by Lacazette at a City corner when the score was still 2-0 but referee Graham Scott wasn’t interested and a VAR check appeared to be used to be sure, although it wasn’t clear in the stadium.
“There was contact, he said there wasn’t enough. I don’t know how much contact there needs to be for a penalty,” the Scot concluded.
“But I’m not going to stand here and speak about that because we weren’t good enough.
“At the time we had our backs against the wall and a mountain to climb. I’m not going to stand here and moan about a 50-50 decision for a penalty when there’s so much more to it than that.”
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