City hero Darren Huckerby wasn't about to start calling Paul D'Urso names. That was someone else's fight to fight.
What he did do, however, was to express the Canaries' utter frustration at seeing one, potentially priceless point ripped out of their hands at the very death of yesterday's 2-1 defeat at promotion hopefuls Bristol City.
Whether or not it should have been three as the visitors failed to add to Huckerby's wonderful leveller was another matter; the fact is that with Norwich now sat just four points above the drop zone with only five games remaining, every point counts. Every single point.
“It would have been disappointing [not to have won the game], but we would have come here and got a point and everything would have been great – we could have gone and moved on,” said Huckerby, who at least edged nearer his twin targets of 200 appearances and 50 goals for the Norfolk club.
Now all eyes turn to next weekend's home clash with Burnley and another huge chance to put this season out of its misery. Get to 52 points and the Canaries would then need one more win to be safe. Southampton keep heading south at their current rate of knots and even a draw might do. Just.
They will, however, have to do it without new loan signing Maceo Rigters who managed to pull his hamstring little more than ten minutes into his second City appearance. If only judging by the manner in which he pulled up sharply and instantly signalled to the bench that his game was over, the 24-year-old former Dutch Under-21 star could yet find himself back at Ewood Park, his season over.
Rigters' misfortunes paled by comparison to the body-blow that the day's official was about to deliver in the third minute of injury time.
“To end it like that, we feel as if we've been robbed a little bit – it's not easy to take,” said the 32-year-old, as D'Urso refused to budge from his original decision – that it was Lee Croft that handled the ball, not Jamie McCombe.
From that the final opportunity of the game was heaved into the Canaries' box, not the Robins'.
A rare, post-match huddle followed among the players in the warm-down. You suspect the thoughts of one Dion Dublin might have been to the fore; he and skipper mark Fotheringham. So, what was said?
“Just keep believing, really,” said Huckerby. “We've come here and deserved to win. And we haven't got what we deserved through a mistake by the referee.
“Everyone makes mistakes; you can't be too critical. But with 30 seconds to go, it has cost us a lot.”
Given the tight-rope that the Canaries continue to walk, it was a big, big decision by Mr D'Urso. A big, big clearing header might have helped as Steve Brooker rose on the far post, but as the furious protests erupted perhaps – in fairness – concentration slipped for one, fatal moment.
“We need all the points we can get,” said Huckerby. “And it's a massive, massive point that we've lost. If not three points – because we were going to put the ball in their box and anything could have happened. So we were disappointed.”
Scant consolation perhaps, but at least Huckerby racked up goal No47 of his Canary career. One for the album too as he robbed Bradley Orr deep in the Robins box and picked his spot inside the far post; the sweetest of right-foot curlers did the rest.
“I thought in the first-half we kept the ball very well; created a few chances. Second-half when Crofty [Lee Croft] came on, he gave us a lot of legs and we were attacking from both flanks – and I think we deserved a goal.
“I think Ched [Evans] came on and he had two or three chances near the end; Curo [Jamie Cureton] had a couple of half-chances. We were the better team. We were the better team today and they will feel very lucky that they have got away with a win.”
Certainly, you would have been hard-pressed to have the Robins down as the promotion candidates as yesterday's result left them top of the pile with five games to go. Suddenly the wind is back in their sails and with momentum being everything at this stage of the season, they are in the box seat now – Gary Johnson bang on course for back-to-back promotions.
Not that that made City's defeat any easier to bear. Quite the reverse.
“We were the better team today – that was my opinion. I don't know what you gents thought, but I thought we were the better team. But that's no consolation. With 30 seconds to go, thinking that you've got a good result…”
The conversation inevitably returned to 'that' incident and Glenn Roeder's revelation that the fourth official told D'Urso – before the free-kick was taken – that it was a Bristol City hand-ball.
“If he can see it, why can't the referee?” said Huckerby, not about to go any further on D'Urso's qualities. “He's reffed at the top level, but his decisions today cost us.
“That's the only way that you can put it – he made a massive error. And I don't know what he's thinking; I don't know how he's come to that decision.
“And one point could cost us – that's how big a decision that is. It was clear-cut; it was not like it was a tough decision to make.”
The straw to cling to was the manner of the performance; proof, once more, that against those teams that like to get the ball down and play, the Canaries can still rip people apart.
“We're very disappointed, but you've got to take heart from the fact that we played very well.”
As for No47, that was something of a trademark curler. “I've got a few of them,” he admitted. “That kind of goal; on my right foot. And, like I've said, we've got five games to go now and I just want to enjoy the rest of the five games and, hopefully, get a little bit closer to the 50 goals.”
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