Dejan is free from blame

PUBLISHED: 09:31 27 October 2008 | UPDATED: 15:51 10 September 2010

Dejan Stefanovic had few complaints about referee Clive Penton on Saturday - but admits it would have been very different if City had lost. The Sussex official consulted his linesman before deciding that the chase between Stefanovic and Rovers' striker Jason Price, which left both in a heap, had been illegally ended by the Canaries central defender.

Dejan Stefanovic had few complaints about referee Clive Penton on Saturday - but admits it would have been very different if City had lost.

The Sussex official consulted his linesman before deciding that the chase between Stefanovic and Rovers' striker Jason Price, which left both in a heap, had been illegally ended by the Canaries central defender.

"It depends on how you look at it," said Stefanovic, pictured. "In my view it happened so quickly, the ball is between us, we are running for the ball and suddenly he falls down - and the referee was far away from us.

"But I can take it on the chin, no problem. I cannot complain because we won the game. If we had lost the game it is going to be different.

"I know I can take the blame but we win 2-1 and get three points and I escape."

Stefanovic has always insisted City must prove themselves against teams from the top as well as the lower reaches of the table before they can consider themselves worthy of play-off ambitions.

"That is what I am talking about - even when you play badly you must take the points, as simple as that, and this kind of game is going to be the most difficult type of game this season," he said. "We needed to take three points because we now have shown we can win against anyone in the division - but we have shown also that we can lose to those teams, which shows we still need that consistency.

"When you play against better teams you can perform better. We showed that against Birmingham, Sheffield United and Wolverhampton, but the kind of game against Barnsley, Southampton and Doncaster are tough games to play. But we need to take the points against them if you want to do something - consistency is the most important thing in football."

City's home double is now followed by trips to Derby tomorrow and Burnley on Saturday.

"There is a long way to go but we have two tough away games now," Stefanovic said. "There are plenty of Tuesday-Saturday games and I know some of us will be tired, but we have a good squad, a big enough squad and maybe we can chop and change some players."

The concern for Stefanovic is how well City cope with any changes that can arise from losing loan players.

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