Audio: Mark Bunn hopes the champagne keeps flowing as he settles in at Norwich City
©Focus Images Limited www.focus-images.co.uk +447814 482222
Mark Bunn’s Carrow Road league debut ended the same way as his first appearance for the club under the Carrow Road floodlights in the League Cup – not only a 2-1 victory, but more the City keeper departing with the sponsors’ champagne after getting their man of the match vote.
Indeed, safe handling from Craig Gardner’s last minute free-kick and an important save from Stephane Sessegnon as he broke clear were key components in City’s excellent win over Sunderland on Sunday evening.
But even Bunn himself – now charged with slipping into the sizeable gloves of stricken England keeper John Ruddy for the next three months – was unhappy Gardner’s earlier crisp strike on the stroke of half-time slipped inside his far post and not only rejuvenated Martin O’Neill’s struggling side, but made for a nervy second half for all in yellow and green.
“It’s my second home game and my second bottle of champagne, so I’ll be turning into an alcoholic at this rate,” laughed Bunn. “It’s good to get the champagne again and hopefully I can just keep continuing these performances.
“I was happy with my performance. I thought maybe I should have done better with the goal. I just managed to get my fingertips on it and maybe I should have pushed it round the post. It’s one of those things.
“But I thought later I made some good saves and overall I am pleased with my performance and hopefully I can just continue doing well for the club and we can continue crawling up the league.
“It’s good to get another appearance in the league and it was a great result in the end. I thought we started the game very well and we looked good. We were on top and it is a killer when you concede a goal late on in the first half, so the second half they came out at us more. But overall it was a great team effort and it’s just great to get the three points.”
While the win pushed the Canaries up to 12th in the Premier League table, it ensured Sunderland hovered just above the relegation zone.
And much like at Southampton in midweek, City preventing their possible survival rivals from taking any points was just as important as taking points themselves.
“That is massive – you have got to beat the teams around you and to get the three points today is a massive result for the club, and hopefully we can just keep pushing up the league and not worry about what is below us,” added Bunn.
“It’s tough kicking off after everyone else and with the cold conditions today, but you just prepare as you do with every other game and it’s just good to get that win.”
Gardner’s strike was the first Premier League goal City have conceded at Carrow Road since Steven Gerrard scored Liverpool’s deflected fifth on September 29.
The 4-1 defeat at Chelsea seven days later was not only the last time City conceded more than one goal, it also remains the last time Norwich were beaten.
“It’s been a great defensive record and we are maybe disappointed we didn’t keep a clean sheet today,” admitted Bunn. “But we are very tight at the back and we are scoring goals, which is a bonus as well for the club.
“They missed an open goal today and they had a few chances, but I thought we did well in the end and it was just good to get the results and to keep our run going.”