Hucks still feels the pain of Selhurst

PUBLISHED: 07:00 28 February 2006 | UPDATED: 09:14 14 September 2010

CHRIS WISE

Darren Huckerby is still feeling the pain of Saturday's humiliating defeat against Crystal Palace - and he can't wait for the opportunity to put things right on the pitch.

Darren Huckerby is still feeling the pain of Saturday's humiliating defeat against Crystal Palace - and he can't wait for the opportunity to put things right on the pitch.

The winger was part of a Norwich City team that put in a collective non-appearance at Selhurst Park, with Palace taking full advantage of their opponents' shortcomings to record an emphatic 4-1 victory.

In common with all his colleagues Huckerby was feeling extremely low after the game and was quick to issue a public apology to the travelling fans who had forked out £30 for the dubious privilege of watching their team being completely outplayed by a far better side on the day.

But he knows only too well that actions speaks louder than words, and is well aware that Canaries will have a massive point to prove to their supporters when they play host to Stoke on Saturday in what is already shaping up as a high pressure game.

“Are we hurting? Of course we are hurting,” he said. “We are professional footballers. I know the fans sometimes don't think that, but we do feel it after performances like that, I assure you.

“We let the fans down big style - and we owe them one now, we know that.

“This one was very hard to take, especially after the way we had played in the last two games. We battle our way to a couple of good wins and then we come to Palace, who are nothing special, and get turned over. It could have been a lot worse than 4-1 if I am being honest.

“It's not the first time this has happened this season and it's difficult to put your finger on the reason. On this particular occasion it didn't help us when Youssef Safri went off injured, but that's no excuse. We just weren't at the races.”

Huckerby gave a brutally honest verdict on City's display at Selhurst Park, adding: “We were terrible - it was a very, very bad performance from the lads. Palace created a couple of early chances, took one of them - and from that moment onwards we were struggling.

“I know we pulled one back near the end but we didn't really create anything all afternoon - and for side with our attacking potential that was very disappointing.

“It was hard because it was a terrible pitch and it was very windy but it was the same for both sides. They tended to lump the ball forward at times - but they did it a lot better than we did.

“To be honest it was just not good enough - and we all know we have to got improve.”

Saturday's defeat left the Canaries with little but pride to play for this season - sixth placed Preston remain nine points ahead of them with two games in hand. But Huckerby insisted that pride would be enough to drive the players on over the next 10 games and spelt out his desire to lay the foundations for next season by ending a bitterly disappointing season on a high note.

“If we are being realistic it is going to be very difficult for us to get back up there now,” he said. “We have let too many games slip by.

“It has been a strange season - and that's speaking both personally and as a member of the team. The Dean Ashton thing didn't help us and it has just been stop start, stop start all the way through. What we have lacked this season is consistency and it would be nice if we could starting showing it now and win a few games.”

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