City boss Glenn Roeder certainly wasn't in the mood to mince his words after last night's embarrassing FA Cup defeat at Bury as the Canaries contemplate yet another early exit from the competition.
As good as Norwich were at Oakwell on Saturday after a storming second-half showing, they were twice as poor the other side of the Pennines last night.
The Shakers thoroughly deserved their 2-1 victory and despite City's possession and late flurry of chances, you just felt it was going to be one of those nights and Roeder was hurting badly after the final whistle.
This one will take a while to get out of the system?
“It hurts a lot,” Roeder admitted. “It's hard to describe how much I'm hurting at the moment and I expect the players to be feeling exactly the same.
“It's been a long, long time since we've played as poorly as that but we have to accept our responsibility as men that we haven't played and we never got started.
“We wiped Barnsley away on Saturday with an excellent performance but we've come here and not put in a performance at all. It teaches you that you can never take anything for granted in football.
“Bury deserve their victory and it hurts me to say that. But I'm not one for looking back and we've got to get over this quickly.”
There will have been plenty of soul searching on the coach trip back to Norfolk and a few City players will be watching their back when they return to Colney on Thursday.
Roeder made it abundantly clear that he would having a quiet word in the ear of a few of last night's under performers as all eyes now turn to Saturday's crucial Championship showdown with Leicester, who sit just one point and one place below the Canaries.
“You learn things about your players all the time and I don't think anyone will be sitting on the coach home thinking they've given their best here and played to their maximum potential,” added Roeder.
“Some of the performances out there tonight were so poor it was unbelievable. I'll need to talk to some players in private but tonight wasn't the time to be slinging tea cups around.
“We're in the modern world now and that's rubbish. It was a time to sit them down and have a heart-to-heart talk with them and some individuals will be very aware that I'll need to see them in my office on Thursday morning.”
Roeder was in no mood to blame the conditions or new personnel either. City made five changes to the winning line-up from Oakwell and started with a 4-3-1-2 formation with Darren Huckerby playing in behind the strike duo of Jamie Cureton and Ryan Jarvis.
In fairness, the conditions should not have been an issue for the Canaries. After a pitch inspection earlier in the day, the 4,146 crowd would have been expecting a quagmire.
The reality is that it was perfectly playable and despite the odd bobble here and there, it was every bit as good as the Oakwell surface on Saturday. And we all know what happened there.
“There are no excuses. In training yesterday we worked on how we'd play and it worked very well. I told the players that it's not formations that win games, it's individuals and we needed to come here and perform to win the game.
“My players have to be big and mentally tough and take any criticism on the chin because there are no excuses whatsoever. They've had plenty of praise recently ? and rightly so. But tonight, they've got to take their fair share of criticism.
“Bury played well with the conditions so we're not using that as an excuse either. I don't like anyone in life that makes excuses and there are plenty of people that do that.
“I warned the players before the game that I won't have an excuse about the pitch, the lights or the lack of an atmosphere.
“Winning people in life always rise to the occasion and we were playing lesser opposition tonight and we certainly didn't rise to the occasion.”
With such an important clash on the horizon, the Canary chief will be making every effort to ensure there is no hangover come the weekend. As far as Roeder is concerned, it will be all guns blazing when the Foxes roll into town.
“The boys will have a day off tomorrow (Wednesday) but I've told them I don't want to see any long faces when they come back in.
“We've got to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves down and make sure we come out firing for our very important game against Leicester on Saturday.”
There was no fresh injury news to report although it will be interesting to see if there are any knocks and bumps after a physical encounter with the League Two strugglers.
Meanwhile, Roeder revealed defender Jon Otsemobor should be fit for the weekend, despite missing last night's defeat with his troublesome achilles complaint.
“I had to protect Jon tonight as I didn't think he'd get through the two games and we need him for Saturday. I'm sure he'll be fit but I don't know what we've picked up here in terms of injuries.”
Leave a Reply