‘I don’t believe it’s over’ – Cantwell admits City’s draw with Palace felt like a defeat but is holding on to hope
Drawing with Crystal Palace felt like a loss to Norwich City goal-scorer Todd Cantwell, after a late equaliser thwarted a rejuvenating New Year’s Day result.
With survival rivals Watford, Aston Villa, West Ham and Southampton all winning the Canaries desperately needed three points but saw the video assistant referee (VAR) correctly overturn a disallowed Connor Wickham goal in the 85th minute, to leave the hosts crestfallen.
The 21-year-old had scored his sixth goal of the season in just the fifth minute and Kenny McLean had hit the bar midway through the second half, taking the lead for the seventh time in nine games but finishing with a record of just one win from the last 16 games.
"Initially it just feels like a loss to everyone, to play well for large parts of that game, again, and to have just a point to show for it, doesn't feel fair," admitted Cantwell after the draw.
"There's definitely a determination in the changing room. We made a miracle happen last year, everyone would have said 'there's no way you're going to win the league'.
"I don't believe it's over, I don't think anyone in the team does. You string some wins together, which we've definitely shown we're capable of and things look different."
Head coach Daniel Farke had already spoken of the need for a 'miracle' ahead of the game and with City seven points adrift of safety with 17 games to play, the challenge is looking more daunting by the game, with trips to Manchester United, Tottenham, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City still to come - after Saturday's FA Cup third round tie at Preston.
"It's frustrating, we were ahead for most of the game and to concede a goal at that point almost feels like a loss in the changing room, it's very disheartening but the facts are that it was onside," Cantwell said of Wickham's goal, which had initially been ruled out for offside, only for VAR to show that Christoph Zimmermann's foot had played the striker onside.
"Looking back at the game, the chances we had, if the game's 2-0 then it's done. It's a little bit of a five percent that we're maybe lacking in a clinical edge.
"You can say it's unlucky, you can say it's a lot of things but there's a certain amount of responsibility that we have to take ourselves and put a game to bed."