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Onel hopeful harsh lessons have been learned - and missing Canaries fans

PUBLISHED: 08:00 27 July 2020 | UPDATED: 17:16 27 July 2020

Norwich City wide player Onel Hernandez's early strike at Manchester City was ruled out by the video assistant referee (VAR). Picture: Dave Thompson/NMC Pool/PA Wire

Norwich City wide player Onel Hernandez's early strike at Manchester City was ruled out by the video assistant referee (VAR). Picture: Dave Thompson/NMC Pool/PA Wire

PA Wire

Harsh lessons have been learned in the Premier League but Onel Hernandez is hopeful that Norwich City will return to the Championship stronger for their brutal experience.

The 27-year-old missed almost two months during the early stages of the season due to a knee injury and was set to miss the final three months after minor knee surgery in February.

However, the season being suspended allowed the winger to return and he started seven of the 10 games after the restart but despite adding a different attacking dynamic with his pace and trickery, couldn’t prevent City’s miserable slide back to the second tier.

“I learned to understand the game more,” he reflected. “I understand how hard it is to play in this league, you have to be every game on 100 percent, if you go in with a bit less teams will punish you.

“They have so much experience and of course the point is that we have so many young players and they all have to learn for the future.

“We have to keep going on and try to come back stronger. We need the break now.”

The Cuban thought he’d scored his second Premier League goal in the eighth minute at Manchester City on Saturday, cutting in from the left wing and finding the bottom-left corner, squeezing his 20-yard shot past Brazil goalkeeper Ederson.

However, VAR intervened and correctly overturned the goal for a marginal offside in the build-up, after Hernandez had been set free by Marco Stiepermann.

Teemu Pukki and Todd Cantwell also went close before the dethroned champions eased to a 5-0 win, with Adam Idah testing Ederson late on and Josh Martin wasting a fine late chance

“After that game we are all a bit disappointed because we wanted to try to take a point from this game,” Hernandez continued.

“It’s a hard and very tough task but you could see me and all of the squad were very disappointed after the game.

“I think from now on everyone has to take a break and come back stronger.”

It was a 10th straight defeat behind closed doors and Hernandez admits he has found life difficult without supporters since lockdown.

“It was a bit of a difficult situation, because when I compare to last year and we had our fans in the background all of the time, in the 80 or 90th minute, you felt them, they were always there.

“I was unhappy about that situation that we don’t have them here with us but it is a hard time in football and we need to keep going on.”

Hernandez finished with a total of two goals and two assists from 29 games in all competitions and fully expects to be involved again under Daniel Farke next season at this stage, having signed a contract until 2024 following promotion in 2019.

“I have a contract for three years more and I haven’t heard or know something about anything new,” the attacker said of his Canaries future, with next season starting in mid-September.

“First we have the holidays and then the pre-season to prepare for the Championship.”


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