Norwich City goalkeeper Mark Bunn will be pulling out all the stops again
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Mark Bunn found himself in illustrious company this past week.
England number one Joe Hart matched the Norwich keeper’s penalty heroics in the midweek friendly win over Brazil.
Bunn’s agility denied QPR a priceless Premier League victory at Loftus Road last time out to further underline his prowess from 12 yards, following a previous penalty save earlier this season that helped the Canaries clinch a memorable Capital One Cup win over Tottenham.
One act of defiance could easily be misconstrued as chance. Two would appear the hallmark of a keeper with the mental capacity to match the physical dexterity.
“I was a bit unfortunate to give it away. I thought he went down a bit easily,” said Bunn, who was adjudged to have clipped Rangers’ frontman Jamie Mackie. “It was good to save it and there were some other saves in there. It was a good overall performance and we could even have won the game at the end. I hope we can take it into the next match.
“That was a great save from Joe Hart and any keeper will tell you it’s always good to save penalties. I always do my research beforehand to see which way they go, and luckily enough he went that way as well, so I was happy with it. I was pleased with that save and I think I needed to save it otherwise I would have got a bit of stick. He just got to the ball before me and I pulled out, but kind of touched him with my knee and he fell down way too easily, but that’s the way it goes in football.
“I felt confident going into the game. At the back end of the Spurs game I made a good save so I felt good and I hope I can just keep doing well.”
Bunn is a man high on confidence after his pivotal role against QPR and Tottenham. Clawing away Gylfi Sigurdsson’s deflected late strike against Spurs was a big moment in his recent timeline.
Tottenham smelt blood after Gareth Bale had predictably punctured Norwich’s resistance in the final stages at Carrow Road. City’s keeper insisted even a 1-1 home draw felt like progress after a festive period of fluctuating fortunes.
“We needed to get a result. It was a massive game,” he said. “After the Luton (FA Cup) game, we all sat in the changing room for quite a while and gave our opinions. I think it was good to get it all out in the air and we seemed to put it right against Spurs. I was there as a young lad so it’s always good to play well when you play them but Bale has done it loads of times this season – he always seems to do it. I think (Alex) Tettey tried to foul him on the halfway line and couldn’t quite get him, but he’s unbelievable.
“We had a good performance against Spurs, a good result, maybe should have won, and it was a decent result at QPR to follow and you can’t disrespect a point so I hope we can get back to winning ways against Fulham and against Everton as well.”
Bunn deserves his plaudits, but the reliable union between Sebastien Bassong and Michael Turner is another key factor for the keeper.
“With Bassong and Turner there we seem to keep it tight at the back and when you have a settled back four it always helps,” he said. “You play week in, week out with the same players and the last two games we have kept it tight and just need to continue that for the next two league games. The back line generally have been doing fine throughout the season, just a couple of results that have gone badly – Manchester City and Liverpool, where we conceded far too many goals – but apart from that I don’t think we’ve been too bad.”
Bunn can be forgiven for not adding Fulham to that list of misdemeanours, given he arrived after a crushing opening day trip to Craven Cottage that predictably has been a dominant theme of the build-up for the return.
“It was the first game and it’s never nice to concede five goals, but I think through the season we’ve shown what a good team Norwich is and what we’re capable of,” he said. “We’ve just had a few bad results against the bigger teams. But as long as you beat the teams around you in the table I think that’s the main thing – we’ll be fine. You just go into every game thinking you can win the game. You have to go into a game confident.
“If you don’t go into the game confident you are always going to lose and we’ve shown we’re back to where we were before in these last couple of games and we just have to continue what we’re doing.”