March 15 2014 Latest news:
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Elliott Bennett conceded Norwich City failed to get anywhere near their usual high standards as they were taken apart by Liverpool at Carrow Road on Saturday evening.
Luis Suárez’s sublime hat-trick did the damage – although the day could have been even worse for the Canaries, had Kenny Dalglish’s FA Cup finalists taken all their chances.
And Bennett, who picked up the sponsors’ man of the match champagne at the final whistle and also conjured one of the hosts’ rare goal-bound efforts, admitted City were not at the races.
“We have set high standards this season, really high standards, and that’s the disappointing thing when you don’t quite hit them, and this was one of those days,” admitted the winger.
“It’s disappointing to lose any football match, but we didn’t hit the standards that we’ve set ourselves this season and that’s the most disappointing thing really.
“Everyone is disappointed with how we played. I think if we had played how we have been playing throughout the season, then today could have been a completely different game.
“But when you are not up to the maximum… Liverpool aren’t in the FA Cup final for nothing.”
City have taken eight points from a possible 33 on offer, which underlines how important the Canaries’ early season form was to their Premier League survival.
Queens Park Rangers’ drubbing at Stamford Bridge on Sunday officially secured City a second season in the top flight.
“It’s always important to get points as soon as you possibly can,” added Bennett. “It doesn’t matter whether you look at your run-in and think it’s an easy game – there are no easy games in the Premier League. “Every game we play we want to win and whether we were mathematically safe today or not, we would still have the same mindset where we want to win matches, and that’s no different.
“Even if we are mathematically safe next week we will still want to win those games coming up. We go into every game wanting to win and that’s our aim.
“When you’re not mathematically safe it’s something that’s always in your mind.
“Our main aim this season is to be safe, but we are not resting on our laurels or anything just because we’ve got 43 points, or the fact we want to be mathematically safe and the fact that has been the main aim of the season.”
Suárez picked up all the post-match plaudits, and most notably for his stunning 50-yard lob that caught out John Ruddy and completed the Uruguayan’s hat-trick.
But Bennett was more concerned with City’s defending than Suárez’s efforts.
“He’s chipped the keeper, hasn’t he?” stated Bennett. “It’s a good finish but he shouldn’t really have got into that position and that is something we’re really disappointed with, that we have given away some sloppy goals. It’s something we haven’t done all season, so we’ll try to put that right next week at Arsenal.
“Any time you concede you can always pull it back and say there was a mistake there or something happened. Conceding any goal is disappointing and obviously we’re all disappointed in the manner we have conceded the three goals today.
“I wouldn’t say that (Suárez’s was the best individual performance City have come up against this season).
“I just think we weren’t up to it today. We are really disappointed with our own performance and obviously when you’ve got world class players on the pitch against you, they are going to punish you.
“He has got massive quality; Liverpool have got massive quality within their team and when you are not up to scratch and you’re not hitting the high standards that we’ve hit this season, we were going to get punished against a very good team, and that’s what happened today. We made a few errors and we were punished for that.”