Cureton: We simply didn't get started

David Cuffley Striker Jamie Cureton blamed another sluggish start for Norwich City's FA Cup exit at the hands of League Two opposition.The Canaries, who fought back from a 1-0 interval deficit to win 3-1 at Barnsley in Saturday's Coca-Cola Championship match, could not repeat the trick as they crashed out of the competition with a 2-1 defeat in last night's third round replay at Bury.

David Cuffley

Striker Jamie Cureton blamed another sluggish start for Norwich City's FA Cup exit at the hands of League Two opposition.

The Canaries, who fought back from a 1-0 interval deficit to win 3-1 at Barnsley in Saturday's Coca-Cola Championship match, could not repeat the trick as they crashed out of the competition with a 2-1 defeat in last night's third round replay at Bury.

For the sixth time in eight matches, they conceded the first goal as Shakers defender Ben Futcher struck after 17 minutes at Gigg Lane, but for the first time in that sequence they failed to stave off defeat. Instead they went 2-0 down on the hour as Andy Bishop struck for his second goal in two games against the Canaries.


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Said Cureton: "In these sort of games, if you don't start well and don't play at a high tempo and play as you would play in a normal league game, then you come up with results like this. At the start of the game, we just didn't perform. We had little spells but I don't think we really created anything in the first half. I don't think I had a shot.

"In the second half we got back on top of it but conceded a terrible goal and we were 2-0 down and chasing the game again.

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"We got something but it wasn't until late on and that was it - the game was over."

Manager Glenn Roeder made five changes to his starting line-up and changed his formation before reverting to 4-4-2 before the interval.

"We played a different formation with a few players coming in after Saturday, but we just didn't get going. I felt comfortable before they scored. We were keeping the ball well but weren't really penetrating a lot. But when you're doing that, you feel the chances will come, and then we conceded a sloppy goal," said Cureton.

"The pressure starts to mount, we were giving passes away, making wrong decisions and caused our own problems.

"I think you can hold your hands up if you've played well and been beaten by a better side but when you perform below par, that's when it becomes disappointing and when people become frustrated.

"People who haven't played have been given chances, people haven't taken them, the manager's very frustrated. He's very annoyed in there and he has every right to be."

Cureton, desperate to add to his eight goals for the season, was twice denied by Bury 'keeper Jim Provett in the second half but had a hand in Dion Dublin's late reply.

"The first one I tried to lift over him he saved, and the second one I caught very well and he managed to get a hand to it. At the moment, that's my luck I suppose," he said. "After that, nothing dropped until late on when I got the header at the back stick and hopefully it was going to go in, but I just directed it as best I could and Dion touched it in. But it was too late. If there had been 10 minutes to go, maybe we could have forced extra time but we wouldn't have deserved it.

"The keeper made saves at vital times, and we missed littled opportunities and probably when we got around the box we didn't make the right decisions.

"You want to be winning games, and stay in the Cup and when you're playing lower league opposition you think it's an opportunity to move forward. It hurts, I'm gutted, it's a disappointing night."

Midfielder Darel Russell made no excuses for City's typically early exit from the competition.

He said: "It was a bad performance - there is no other word for it. We've come to a team that without doubt we should have beaten. We haven't performed, we've been sloppy all over the pitch and we got our come-uppance for it. We can't take what we've been doing over the last couple of months for granted. We're on a good run - one little thing might concern me and that is that we seem to concede and then have to get ourselves back into games. That's shown strength of character but we can't keep doing that each week.

"We definitely should have come here and got a result and we've come here and embarrassed ourselves, really."

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