Only victory against Reading is enough for Norwich City’s Alex Tettey following defeat at Arsenal
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City midfielder Alex Tettey admits defeat at the Emirates has put even more pressure on the Canaries' do-or-die clash at home to Reading next weekend.
City looked on course for another famous victory over Arsenal thanks to Michael Turner's superb header only to capitulate late on following the award of a controversial penalty late on, which Mikel Arteta dispatched.
Olivier Giroud and Lukasz Podolski piled on the agony for City and Tettey believes that only three points against the Royals will be enough to stop Norwich being dragged further into the relegation mire.
'Next weekend it's like a cup final for us,' said the 27-year-old, who joined from Rennes last summer.
'There is no one point or losing in that game – we need three points.
'That's a massive game for us. I don't want to say if we don't win the game we will be in trouble because after that we will have four games more.
'But that's a massive game for us and that's the only thing now we can concentrate on.'
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Whilst attention must now turn to the visit of Nigel Adkins' side it will take the City squad some time to come to terms with the disappointment of coming so close to victory at the Emirates.
It's safe to say referee's assistant Richard West is unlikely to be on Norwich's Christmas card list after a series of decisions that went against the Canaries.
'It was a really tough one to take – everybody is really disappointed,' added Tettey. 'The penalty was a really disappointing decision to make from the linesman.
'The referee was 10 metres away from the incident. He didn't say anything and the linesman, who is far away, is saying it's a penalty.
'That goal really didn't help us. We worked really hard for 80 minutes and I think we deserved more.'
The fact Theo Walcott was offside in the build-up to Arsenal's third goal through Podolski only added to the Canaries' sense of frustration.
It is not the first time in recent memory City have felt the brunt of contentious refereeing decisions with Mark Bunn's sending off at Sunderland still fresh in the minds of everyone of a yellow and green persuasion.
Tettey hopes they are not decisions Norwich will be dwelling on at the end of the season as their need for points increases with every passing week.
'From today and against Sunderland it was very tough on us,' he said.
'We are a small club and sometimes things have to go our way. They didn't today but there's nothing we can do now. We just have to take the disappointment with us and turn it into something positive against Reading.'
Tettey insists there were positives to take from City's display in north London with their stubborn rearguard nullifying the Gunners' array of attacking talent until the penalty award.
'Until then we were passing the ball and we had good control,' he said. 'They didn't really create anything before Podolski hit the bar. Otherwise I think we had the energy to hold on to the 1-0.
'When they got a goal back they are a big team with good players. We worked really hard and after that our energy was sinking.'
Tettey was at least pleased to gain his first start since February against Fulham after a knee injury has restricted his involvement recently.
'I've missed four games and I'm really glad I got to play almost 90 minutes,' he said. 'Hopefully I can now get my form and fitness going.
'It was good for me to come back and I hope to work hard and get some playing time again in the next game.'