I should have scored, says defender Alex

PUBLISHED: 12:00 12 March 2008 | UPDATED: 15:27 10 September 2010

David Cuffley

Defender Alex Pearce believes he should have bagged his first goal for Norwich City last night - and earned them a point in stoppage time against promotion-chasing Stoke.

Defender Alex Pearce believes he should have bagged his first goal for Norwich City last night - and earned them a point in stoppage time against promotion-chasing Stoke.

The Canaries slipped to their fourth defeat in six Coca-Cola Championship matches as the Potters became the first team to double them this season, courtesy of Mamady Sidibe's goal after 57 minutes at Carrow Road.

Glenn Roeder's men dropped four places to 17th in the table, just five points clear of the bottom three with eight games to go.

But they had enough chances to have sent Tony Pulis' team packing, the most glaring miss coming more than two minutes into time added on when striker Jamie Cureton poked the ball wide from a couple of yards out.

However, that chance dropped to Cureton after Pearce got his head to skipper Mark Fotheringham's corner - and the 19-year-old blamed himself for not hitting the net in the first place.

He said: “I should have scored that, without a doubt. Put that one me - I should have put that away from six yards out. It should have been in the back of the net.”

Pearce, starting the match in the absence of the suspended Gary Doherty, and central defensive partner Jason Shackell dealt well with Stoke's aerial and physical threat, but on one of the few occasions Sidibe got the upper hand, they were punished, the giant striker rising between three yellow shirts to meet Rory Delap's long throw with a backheader that looped over goalkeeper David Marshall for the only goal.

“That's all it takes - one moment. And when you're up against Stoke you're going to have to deal with them all night and the one we didn't deal with, they scored from, so it's disappointing,” said Pearce.

“I thought we outplayed them in the first and second half and created a lot of chances but we just couldn't take them.”

Pearce, making the fifth appearance of his loan spell from Reading, said he was always trying to improve certain elements of his game.

He said: “There are always things to work on. I felt I did OK but it's not about me, it's about the team winning and we didn't do that tonight.”

But he said he was confident City would get back on the winning track.

“When you're in a patch like this it's important to keep faith and keep trying and keep getting in positions because once you start not getting in positions, that's when you've gone. As long as you keep getting in positions, it will come round, no matter how long it takes,” he said.

“It's a little bit tighter down the bottom but I think we'll be all right. We just need a couple of good results and we're back up there again.”

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