Etuhu - We were second best
PUBLISHED: 13:43 20 November 2006 | UPDATED: 09:50 14 September 2010
Dickson Etuhu summed up Norwich City's day of derby woe when he said: “We were second best at everything.” The Canaries' 3-1 defeat by Ipswich Town was their first in six visits to Portman Road, stretching back more than eight years, but Peter Grant's men could have no complaints about the scoreline.
Dickson Etuhu summed up Norwich City's day of derby woe when he said: “We were second best at everything.”
The Canaries' 3-1 Coca-Cola Championship defeat by Ipswich Town was their first in six visits to Portman Road, stretching back more than eight years, but Peter Grant's men could have no complaints about the scoreline.
Debutant Luke Chadwick gave the visitors a first-half lead but Sylvain Legwinski levelled for Town before the break and substitute and former City triallist Danny Haynes finished them off with two goals in the final 15 minutes.
With one or two exceptions, City looked a shadow of the team that won 1-0 at West Bromwich Albion eight days earlier, and Etuhu confessed: “We're very, very disappointed. Everybody's very down at the moment. We just couldn't get going. They were the better team today, simple as that.
“No disrespects, they're not the best team we've played. We have played better teams. I just don't know, we just didn't come out today and they did.
“They won their battles. It felt like they had so much time on the ball and we just couldn't get near them.”
Chadwick's goal could have given the Canaries a foothold after Town dominated the first 20 minutes, and Etuhu admitted: “I thought we could have built on that. We had another chance just after to kill it off, but we didn't take it and then they got a goal and all of a sudden their fans were behind them and they just got going again.
“Today we were always second best at everything and we felt we were trying to catch them. I'm not being disrespectful to them, but they're not exactly a great team, but we just didn't turn up.”
With City 12th in the table, they can afford no slips as they go into home games against Hull and Leicester in the space of four days.
“There's no room for error. We've got to win both games - no draws, no nothing,” said Etuhu. “We've just got to win. We're going to win.”
Tough away trips to Sunderland, Southampton and Wolves await in December, but Etuhu argued: “We seem to beat the big teams away. We just can't beat the average teams.”
Defender Gary Doherty, recalled in place of Dion Dublin, admitted: “We just weren't at the races today. The way we're set up you would think we'd do all right away from home, to try to hit teams on the counter-attack and we did that at Birmingham and West Brom, but today it just didn't happen. We didn't create enough chances, although we had a great chance at 1-1.
“The Ipswich front two really hassled and harried and then they brought on the lad who's got a couple of good goals.”
City missed the chance to go seventh in the table and Doherty admitted: “We've made up a little bit of ground recently and this has definitely knocked us back a little bit. We've got two home games coming up against teams we should beat, so that should get us back and up and running.”
Town's once-acclaimed playing surface was breaking up badly, but it was the same for both sides.
Etuhu said: “The pitch had a lot to do with it for my part of the game. I just couldn't get the ball going, Hucks couldn't run with it, it kind of killed our attacking flow. But that's not an excuse. At the end of the day they still bullied us and won the game.”
Doherty added: “I don't want to blame the pitch - but the pitch was awful. It's hard to get your passing game going, especially on a pitch where you're not really that confident to get the ball down and pass it anyway. But we can't make excuses. It wasn't good enough today.”