Gary Doherty dispensed with the usual formalities after yesterday's 2-1 home defeat by Coventry City and called it as it is.
“It's a disaster,” he said simply.
Coupled with a weekend of freak results from elsewhere in the bottom half of the Championship – Reading 0, Nottingham Forest 1 and Wolves 0, Plymouth 1 being the two obvious examples of that breed – it left the Canaries four points adrift of safety with back-to-back trips to Queen's Park Rangers and Blackpool now to come.
In some ways, gettign away from the dread-laden atmosphere of Carrow Road might – just – help. For as much as the home faithful did their level best to keep the green flag flting high after Jordan Henderson's 19th minute opener banged the latest large nail in the club's survival coffin, the first-half still had something of a wake about it as the punters swallowed hard, nodded mournfully and began to accept that their fate might now be inevitable.
In fairness, Norwich showed spirit a-plenty after the break as Jonathan Grounds' third goal in 14 appearances levelled eight minutes after the restart.
Alas, however, the second 45 also showed exactly why the Canaries are now staring down the barrel of that League One gun as huge chances and big decisions both went against the Norfolk club as Coventry's Daniel Fox showed everyone what that little extra dollop of quality can bring to this level with a gem of a winner.
“I don't know what's going on,” added Doherty, who at least walked away from Carrow Road with a bottle of bubbly for his manful, Man of the Match labours.
“We're conceding goals, we're not scoring enough goals – it's just bad all over the place at the minute and it's something that we've got to put right,” he said, having proved – in that one, simple sentence – that he does actually know what's going on.
In common with 24,000 others at Carrow Road. And a new-look managerial team now charged with the task of their fledgling lives to keep the Canaries out of the NewDen next season.
That particular quest starts again in West London on Tuesday night with the away trip to Rangers – not exactly oneof Norwich's more favoured hunting grounds. Just ask Peter Grant.
On that infamous night, however, the spirit wasn't so much lacking as non-existent.
Right now and new City boss Bryan Gunn would appear to have the commitment – it's the concentration and the simple quality of some that continues to bedevil him. And for that there is no, overnight fix; no simple solution. It's taken, maybe, four or five years to get the Canaries into this particular dread mire; you can't unravel that kind of mess in the course of four or five games.
No matter how much the boys want to do it for The Gunner.
“We've got the players,” insisted Doherty. “But we can't just keep saying that we've got the players.
“We've got to dig in and churn out some results now – ther teams are managing to do it and we've got to start managing to do it.”
The theory was that City build on that point against Burnley, take three as the likes of Forest and Plymouth stumble. Oh no…
“We were hoping that this was going to be a big weekend for us because we probably had the fixture that you'd have thought we could have got a result from.
“But, obviously, we haven't – and now we've got to pull a result out of the hat, really. We've got to go to QPR and get something there – and then go to Blackpool and win there.
“So the pressure is massively mounting on us – and it's our own fault. We're not getting results when we should be.”
The fact that the day's official Paul Taylor and his assistant missed a clear-cut penalty with the game poised at 1-1 didn't help – Stephen Taylor's sly arm in front of the face of Carl Cort's face as Lee Croft drove an inch-perfect cross to the far post merely summed up the afternoon. Again, it is all too easy to clutch at such straws – Jamie Cureton's horror miss just after the re-start makes a rather more telling point as to why Norwich can't kill teams off.
“I haven't seen them, but everyone's in there saying that there's a couple of dead cert penalties and it's just our luck that they get one chance on the edge of the box and the boy whips it straight into the top corner.
“And you obviously feel that these things go against you when you're down at the bottom – they're scoring every chance they get and it's tough at the minute.
“But we've got to be man enough to deal with it And now we've got to go to QPR and, as I say, that's huge.”
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