Surrender! City's awful display

CHRIS LAKEY Norwich City ran up the white flag and surrendered East Anglian supremacy at Portman Road yesterday in a display described by manager Peter Grant as “awful”.


Norwich City ran up the white flag and surrendered East Anglian supremacy at Portman Road yesterday in a display described by manager Peter Grant as “awful”.

The teams are neck and neck in their own battle for Championship mediocrity, but when it came to local pride there was only one winner yesterday: Ipswich Town.

Former Canaries youth player Danny Haynes came back to haunt City with two late goals, but by then the Tractor Boys should have been out of sight against a Norwich side who also lost scorer and debutant Luke Chadwick, stretchered off 10 minutes from time after colliding with advertising hoardings.

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There was no escaping the ineffectiveness of City's performance - and Grant pulled few punches afterwards.

“We were awful, we have got to accept that,” he said. “Even at 1-0 it was against the run of play. Even though we had a good chance at 1-1 it would have been a total injustice to Ipswich.

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“I thought we were very poor in everything we did today, from start to finish. If you don't do the basics well in football you will always struggle, and Ipswich thoroughly deserved their victory.

“I think the first half summed up our day. I thought we were very unfortunate to go in on equal terms. It was only a matter of time because we never learned at half-time to do the proper things well.

“And if you have lazy minds you will always struggle and that's where we were very, very poor. That's one thing I can never throw at their door, they work hard enough but their thought process on the little things was awful and we were very, very poor, second best all over the pitch and Ipswich got their just rewards.

“We have not become a bad side overnight. I just want to win games of football - I can accept defeat, but not in the manner we showed today.”

Chadwick was taken to hospital for check-ups after the game, but while the immediate problem appeared to be his left shoulder, there was also concern at a gash on his knee.

“He's gone to hospital for a check-up not so I'm not sure if it's his shoulder, or whether it was the way he fell, so I don't want to comment at this moment in time,” said Grant.

Grant brought in Chadwick, switched Andy Hughes to a midfield without Youssef Safri, and replaced Dion Dublin at centre half with fit-again Gary Doherty.

Safri had originally been dropped to the bench, but then cried off with flu yesterday morning, but Grant denied that the change in the centre of a defence which had kept clean sheets in City's last two games had been a mistake.

“No, not at all,” he said. “Dion wants to be judged as a striker, but I also thought I'd maybe need to use him late in the game, because the way the pitch is I didn't want him running about as a centre back for half the game and then forward for the next half so that was one of the reasons why I changed it.

“But no excuses - if you don't do the fundamentals properly, it doesn't what team it is or what players it is, if you don't do them properly you will always struggle. Ipswich did them well and we did them very poorly.”

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