Steven Whittaker decries Norwich City's lack of consistency as Burton Albion stick another nail in the coffin holding the Canaries' Premier League ambitions
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Consistency remains the euphemism of choice for being good at football.
If you keep winning, then you are consistent. If you don’t pick up enough points on a regular basis, then you are inconsistent. Simple.
But of course, equally if you keep winning then you will prove you are good at that level. Maybe too good for it. That’s where the likes of Brighton, Newcastle, Sheffield Wednesday and Huddersfield currently find themselves.
And Norwich City? They are fighting a losing battle to prove they’re good enough to live up to the elevated Championship status they’ve enjoyed on and off since 2010.
Arguably the thing they are proving, is that those days are over. Defeat at Burton Albion was just another nail in the coffin.
“The manager stated it was our throw-in we conceded possession from (for the second goal), so again we’ve let ourselves down in that aspect,” acknowledged Steven Whittaker.
“We felt like we had the momentum, we had the goal, we were on the front foot – and within however long after we equalised, we were behind again and back to square one.”
To clear things up, it was four minutes between Whittaker’s misdirected shot cannoning in off Cameron Jerome’s head and Michael Kightly lifting a glorious winner above the head of John Ruddy. City never looked like recovering their second-half momentum after that.
Whittaker added: “We’ve not been consistent enough in these types of games. We know coming away in the Championship, it’s going to be tough and scrappy at times. We need to dig in, stick together and if people make mistakes, we can still get stuff from the game.
“Some games it’s just small margins. We felt we were doing OK in the game. There wasn’t much in it. A couple of misjudgments of stuff. It’s obviously cost us goals.
“We’ve kind of shot ourselves in the foot. We still believed at half-time we could get something from the game and started positively. It just wasn’t meant to be.”
City did get lucky with their equaliser – as Whittaker would go on to admit. Whether they should’ve had an injury-time penalty for a foul on Wes Hoolahan was another discussion point.
“My cross? Yeah exactly,” smiled Whittaker. “No, the ball got laid across and the pitch was a bit bobbly, so I just tried to put my foot through it towards the goals but it came off the wrong part of my foot.
“It went straight into Cameron’s face – he said it hit his face. I’m sure replays will show exactly what it came off.
“Wes felt he was about to get a shot away and he was barged; it was a bit clumsy. On another day, maybe.”