City count cost as play-off dream dies

PUBLISHED: 11:40 25 March 2006 | UPDATED: 09:18 14 September 2010

Norwich City manager Nigel Worthington conceded his side's chances of claiming a Coca-Cola Championship play-off place were fading after his side were beaten 2-0 at Burnley.

Norwich City manager Nigel Worthington conceded his side's chances of claiming a Coca-Cola Championship play-off place were fading after his side were beaten 2-0 at Burnley.

Worthington's men remain seven points adrift of sixth-placed Preston, who have two games in hand on City, after losing to goals either side of half-time from Andy Gray and Graham Branch.

And Worthington said: "It'll be very difficult and it's not over the last six or seven games, it's over the 46 games.

"The word that has been with us all season is inconsistent.

"When you lose games at this stage of the season the door closes a little bit more.

"At the moment it's not shut tight so while there's a glimmer of hope, you've always got a chance - but we've certainly made it more difficult for ourselves."

The Canaries had four clear chances in the opening quarter of an hour, and Worthington added: "You have got to take your chances and in the first 15 minutes we had three or four great chances. We didn't convert them and we paid the price.

"After the first 15 minutes Burnley controlled the game.”

Meanwhile, Adam Drury faces the prospect of a spell on the sidelines after injuring his elbow during last night's first half.

The defender was injured when he fell awkwardly when going for a high ball and it soon became apparent that he would have to be replaced.

It emerged after the game that he had been unable to straighten his left arm and Worthington revealed that he would be visiting hospital for a check-up once the team plane had arrived back in Norwich.

“We don't know the extent of the damage but it is certainly round the elbow area and Adam will need to have an X-ray when we get back. We should know more then,” explained the City boss.

The home victory ended a run of six successive defeats for Burnley and Gray's effort was a first goal for the Clarets - who were in play-off contention at Christmas - in 512 minutes.

Fine moves saw Branch cross for Gray to turn and finish in the 18th minute before a neat centre from Phil Bardsley was nodded in at the far post by Branch five minutes after the break.

Clarets chief Steve Cotterill felt his side were well worth their victory and said: "We're delighted with it. We felt that in the first 10 or 15 minutes we got that bit of luck that perhaps deserted us in recent weeks.

"Over the 90 minutes I think we did deserve to win the game and I'm really pleased for all the players.

"It was a good win, a good team ethic, a couple of good goals and a clean sheet to boot.

"It has been a long time this and it's been tough on everyone at the club. We said that if we got the first goal our football would come flooding back and I thought it did.

"As soon as we got the first goal it was as if 'what's all the worry about?' and I think that showed in our play.”

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