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Norwich City masters of their own downfall for Alan Irvine after 3-1 Fulham defeat

PUBLISHED: 18:15 14 April 2017 | UPDATED: 22:04 14 April 2017

John Ruddy thwarts Tom Cairney in a frenetic second half at Norwich City. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

John Ruddy thwarts Tom Cairney in a frenetic second half at Norwich City. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

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Alan Irvine had no complaints after Norwich City were punished for fresh defensive charity by 10-man Fulham in a 3-1 Championship defeat at Carrow Road.

Timm Klose’s cheap turnover sparked an early goal slammed home by Stefan Johansen before former Norwich striker Chris Martin was red-carded for tangling with Mitchell Dijks. Tom Cairney slotted a penalty shortly after half-time for the visitors, when Ryan Bennett hauled down Tomas Kalas. Floyd Ayite waltzed through to seal the win after Cameron Jerome had reduced the deficit.

“I think it was a just result. We obviously started both halves poorly,” said Irvine. “I thought we responded well in the first half to the initial setback and we got into the final third on a lot of occasions but the quality of our final cross, pass or decision was not good enough. I still felt we were showing enough it would come together in the second half. Then we give the ball away really cheaply to concede a free kick. Our organisation was poor at that point and it led to the penalty.

“It was poor defending from the start. Our set up was poor. For Ryan to get into the position he did wasn’t good and he has clearly given the referee a decision to make. The players are claiming it wasn’t a penalty but the first thing I did was look at the referee. That tells you how worried I was.

“Then you are 2-0 down and it took us quite a while to recover from that. We got one back from our one real quality cross of the game. At a time when I think we’ll get another one we defended really poorly, had plenty of players in the area for their third goal but no-one took responsibility and we end up conceding a goal which killed it for us.”

Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic intends to appeal Martin’s red card but Irvine felt it was the right call.

“I thought it was. He threw an elbow for me and it connected,” he said. “I felt as if it was a red card. It is Fulham’s prerogative if they chose to appeal. They are taking a little bit of risk because it could be deemed a frivolous appeal. I immediately thought it could be a red card.”

Klose was replaced at the break after suffering a suspected right knee injury in an awkward collision with Kalas prior to the interval. The Swiss international will now be fully assessed by the club’s medical staff but looks a major doubt for Easter Monday’s visit to Preston.

“I am not too sure what he has done. He has obviously got a bang,” said Irvine. “I haven’t really been given an assessment. We had to sort things out at half-time and it became clear he wasn’t going to be able to carry on. I have not got all that information yet. It doesn’t look great at the moment but we need to assess him properly.”

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