Roeder: A missed opportunity

CHRIS LAKEY Glenn Roeder was left bemoaning the loss of vital points in the Championship relegation battle after Charlton sneaked out of Carrow Road with a share of the Christmas spoils yesterday.

CHRIS LAKEY

Glenn Roeder was left bemoaning the loss of vital points in the Championship relegation battle after Charlton sneaked out of Carrow Road with a share of the Christmas spoils yesterday.

The Canaries had the lion's share of the game against a side reduced to 10 men after just half an hour, but failed to turn possession and chances into goals.

Ipswich's defeat at Leicester coupled with Scunthorpe's win at Colchester means City dropped two places to 20th - but it could have been so different for Norwich who laid siege to the Charlton goal for long periods of the second half.

“We let them get away with a point when they should be going home with absolutely nothing, because we totally dominated the game from start to finish,” said Roeder, whose team shad won their last three home games.

“Our goalkeeper has had one thing to do and that's pick the ball out of the back of the net and it's hugely frustrating to have so much of the play, have that many chances, half chances, and only score one and only take a point from a team that I feel will probably be back in the Premiership next year.”

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If there was a plus side it was the fact that City have now taken points off of two teams who were relegated from the top flight last season and are tipped for an immediate return.

“We take a lot of confidence from the performance, that we can compete when we play well with any of the teams in this division,” added Roeder.

“But we are hugely disappointed that we have only taken one point and we have let Charlton slip out of here with a point.

“I think they (Charlton) have enough quality, enough players in the squad. They had players out injured today and when they are fully fit they have enough strength in depth to return to the Premiership.

“I certainly think they will do that and it is so important for our players to know that when we play as well as we can and compete for everything, just as we did against Sheffield United who were relegated last year and we beat 1-0, we have done everything bar turn Charlton over today. We have improved immensely since we lost 2-0 down there.”

Charlton were reduced to 10 men when Sam Sodje paid the price for a two-footed lunge on City's skipper for the day, Darel Russell - who took the armband from the injured Mark Fotheringham.

“It was a nasty challenge,” said Roeder. “You can't jump in two-footed and expect to get away with anything other than a red card.

“I don't want players sent off and often when a player is sent off it makes it more difficult, ridiculous as it sounds, but it often does. It didn't help us him getting sent off at all, but it was a nasty challenge.”

Roeder admitted he had told his players not to be influenced any frustrations in the sell-out crowd.

“What I said to the players at half-time was, 'do not let the crowd play the game. We have to be big and strong and carry on playing how we want to play, to try and create the chances to get back in the game and win the game', and we did that, other than take the chances we created,” he said.

“We weren't doing anything particularly wrong other than I thought five minutes before half-time when we played a little bit too slow, in that midfield players were coming too close to full backs to take the ball off them and I don't like that. I don't like seeing centre midfield players coming five or six metres to take the ball off a full-back or centre-back.

“I just had to refocus the chaps at half-time. I wanted us to play at a high tempo, forget they had gone down to 10 men and just shift them about until we could get into positions to create chances. All in all they did that - the trouble is we just didn't finish them unfortunately.”