‘It’s definitely changed the game’ - City skipper delivers his VAR verdict after draw with Spurs
PUBLISHED: 06:30 29 December 2019 | UPDATED: 09:32 29 December 2019
Grant Hanley is determined to not focus on Norwich City’s frustrations with VAR too much, following a positive point against resurgent Tottenham.
The Canaries were twice pegged back by Spurs in an entertaining 2-2 draw at Carrow Road but thought they'd gone 2-0 up in the first half, after Teemu Pukki had converted a wonderful pass from Mario Vrancic, only for the video assistant referee to rule the goal out for a marginal offside.
"It's a strange feeling, you work so hard to get a couple (of goals) up against a team like Spurs and you're looking at the board and thinking 'oh no, what's the outcome going to be?!' but that's the game today," Hanley explained.
"That's how it's developed, that's how it is and it's not going to change, so as a player you have to take it as it comes, stay focused on the game in hand.
"It's definitely changed the game. As a centre-half when you saw the linesman's flag going up you would think you could relax, but now it's important to stay switched on.
"Everything changes and moves forward, and it's for the players to adapt with it."
The decision promoted more anti-VAR chants and there was a banner unfurled during the second half by City fans stating that the new system was "clearly and obviously not working", but City's skipper did his best to steer clear of the controversy.
He added: "We're professional and it's important that the players stay professional and don't get too emotional.
"Like I've said before, whatever happens, win, lose or draw, it's important we stick to our guns and stay level really, focus on keep moving forward and taking every game as it comes."
It was the third time in seven matches that Daniel Farke's team had held one of the top-flight big guns to a draw, following on from ties with Arsenal and Leicester, but they remain bottom and six points from safety.
"I've been in the side for the last three games and it's felt like we're right in the game every time but we've got one point from the last three games," Hanley continued.
"We're just struggling to edge it at the minute, I'm not quite sure what the answer is, we're just struggling to get over the line.
"We kind of feel disappointed with the draw, I know second half we were defending for quite big periods but it says a lot when you're disappointed with a draw against Spurs."
While the second equaliser was a ruthlessly dispatched penalty from England captain Harry Kane after a clear Christoph Zimmermann foul, the first leveller came from a more contentious moment after Jamal Lewis had handled the ball when tussling with Kane.
Denmark star Christian Eriksen had curled the free-kick just over the City wall and past Tim Krul for 1-1, with the Canaries defence feeling hard done by after that goal.
"I was moaning at the ref because the ball was on the edge of the D and we were two yards past the penalty spot for the wall," the Scotland defender concluded.
"I think I'm right in saying the edge of the D is 10 yards to the penalty spot, that was my issue, and Jamal probably wanted a foul for the free-kick.
"But that's football, some things are going to go against you, I can't complain because you get yourself down if you keep complaining about every decision.
"You've just got to stay professional and carry on."