Plenty of luck for Alan Irvine, and its all bad at Norwich City
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Alan Irvine insists he is due a slice of good luck after Norwich City's Championship play-off bid stalled at Aston Villa.
The Canaries’ interim chief has endured a bumpy ride since replacing Alex Neil, with Ivo Pinto and Mitchell Dijks picking up red cards and Graham Dorrans an ankle injury that is likely to sideline the midfielder for Wednesday’s trip to Huddersfield.
Irvine remains in charge for this week’s double header against the Terriers and fellow promotion contenders Reading, after Jonathan Kodjia’s Villa Park brace inflicted his first defeat.
“No one is making it easy for me. We lost a player in my first game and now my third game. It was already a difficult task and it is not any easier,” he said. “We just have to deal with it. That is part of the job. We have to find the best solution for the Huddersfield game. As far as I am concerned the situation is still the same. I am waiting to hear what happens moving forward. I have enjoyed working with the players, I enjoyed the Villa performance but I am bitterly disappointed with the result.”
Nelson Oliveira spurned the best chance to salvage a positive result, afer Pinto’s dismissal, but was foiled by a last-ditch tackle from Neil Taylor.
“I still felt even with 10 men we were on the front foot, moving the ball well. We were more vulnerable at the back, as you would be,” said Irvine. “I didn’t put lads back to cover, we pretty much went to a back two, Steven Whittaker pushing forward and on the other flank lads having to cover the width of the pitch.
“The second goal that kills it off is obviously a bit of indecision between Ryan (Bennett) and Michael (McGovern). They know that, That wasn’t the key moment in the end. It was the chance Nelson had. We got done on the counter for the first. That is the way they played because we had them penned in.
“I believe we created more chances but there is no question they were a threat. They realised we were causing them a lot of problems in playing through them and Steve (Bruce) changed his system quite early. At times away from home this season I have been very, very disappointed how we have played but not in this game.”