'For 25 minutes they blew us away' - Robins' boss rues Norwich City's power surge
PUBLISHED: 10:11 24 February 2019 | UPDATED: 10:11 24 February 2019
Callum O'Dowda's special goal was in the Lionel Messi class for Bristol City chief Lee Johnson - but the Robins' chief admitted it was Norwich City's quality which made the difference in a 3-2 Championship defeat.
Johnson felt his side were in the box seat but a combination of home pressure and errors from his own men sealed their fate at Carrow Road.
The Bristol City head coach cut a frustrated figure at the final whistle and was booked for continuing his protests to the officials, centred around a first half penalty shout for Josh Brownhill.
“The ref was poor. His inconsistency level. All you ask is for the referee to be consistent,” he said.
“In the first half we were excellent and the better side and we could have had a penalty - from my angle it was and the lad (Josh Brownhill) certainly thought it was a penalty. I think sometimes they pick and choose the fouls depending on the area of the pitch. I just want them to referee every action consistently.
“We deserved our lead and had a couple of good counter-attacks that we should have made more of. Our pressing was outstanding and forced them into playing straight balls.
“We broke well but we lacked a bit of finesse.
“I’m disappointed to lose the game and I thought we were undone by our own inadequacies in a 25-minute spell in the second half.
“You have to respect Norwich’s quality as well. For 25 minutes they blew us away, partly due to our mistakes but partly due to their quality and speed.
“I thought everyone gave their all. We just didn’t execute enough of the actions that we work on.
“We have got to have someone in there who settles things down when the emotion leads the game. At that point we have to be a little bit more sensible and smart though I do think we have got that quality.”
O’Dowda slalomed his way past Tom Trybull, Kenny McLean and Ben Godfrey before a composed close range finish to put the visitors back in front shortly after McLean had drew the hosts’ level in the first half. However Johnson was less than impressed with his young midfielder’s next key contribution.
“Callum scored a great goal but in the lead up to Norwich’s second he let the man drift past him far too easily. You have to do both sides of the game,” said Johnson. “I was delighted for him to score that type of goal.
“If that was Messi that would be shown for years and years because it was that good but it cancels it out in my mind if you let someone drift past you and don’t do your defensive duties. It was a brilliant goal. I thought our first was a great goal and so was the Norwich winner.”