Doc: It's do or die now

Norwich City skipper Gary Doherty admits they cannot afford anything less than victory in both their remaining Championship games of the season to give themselves a realistic chance of avoiding relegation.

Norwich City skipper Gary Doherty admits they cannot afford anything less than victory in both their remaining Championship games of the season to give themselves a realistic chance of avoiding relegation.

After yesterday's 3-2 derby defeat at Ipswich left them in 22nd place in the table, the Canaries face a second successive blank Saturday where they must watch other results coming in before taking on play-off contenders Reading in next Monday's televised game at Carrow Road.

If results go badly in the next five days, City could be as good as down before they even kick off against the Royals.

“The only way we can see it is two wins,” said Doherty. “We've got to win two games and then hope things go for us. I am sure if we get two wins we'll be OK, but it's going to be a nail-biter now.”


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Saturday's results left City into the bottom three before kick-off at Portman Road, and they are now one point adrift of Barnsley, who play their game in hand at Coventry tomorrow, three behind Nottingham Forest and four behind Plymouth.

Said Doherty: “Tomorrow night's a big game for Barnsley away at Coventry. You have to watch and hope other teams do favours but we've got to produce in front of our fans on Monday. There is a lot of pressure and then you've got the pressure of your own game.”

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Doherty said City allowed Town to get on terms too soon after on-loan David Mooney had headed them in front with his third goal for the club after 15 minutes.

It was the eighth Portman Road derby in a row in which the Canaries scored first, but for the third season running, they couldn't hold on to that lead as Alan Quinn equalised eight minutes later.

“You want to keep a 1-0 lead for a lot longer than we did. But it was a good move by them and a terrific goal,” he said.

“We were confident at half-time. We felt comfortable, we felt their crowd might turn on them if we could keep it tight but they came out full steam ahead in the second half.”

The game turned on a controversial penalty awarded on the hour when referee Neil Swarbrick decided goalkeeper David Marshall had felled Town's Kevin Lisbie. It was the 11th penalty awarded against City this season - and the 10th to be scored.

“The second goal was a bit ridiculous,” said Doherty. “Marshy hasn't touched him. It's just another penalty and another costly decision. The penalty changed the game.”

“That's 11 too many but some of them have been real duffers and it's frustrating,” said Doherty.

“But we can't keep going on about it. We've really got to get our heads right and we've got to win two out of two now.”

Soft stoppage-time goals for Town's Jon Stead, with a suspicion of offside, and City's Sammy Clingan, with another debatable penalty, completed the scoring.

“We're feeling a bit hard done by, but we've got to really dust ourselves down and go again because we need two massive wins now,” said Doherty.

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