It's all a numbers game for Gunn

David Cuffley City boss Bryan Gunn revealed how he handed out sheets of statistics to his players to convince them they still had the chance of Championship survival.

David Cuffley

City boss Bryan Gunn revealed how he handed out sheets of statistics to his players to convince them they still had the chance of Championship survival.

Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Swansea left the Canaries back in the bottom three, but they bounced out again after the 2-0 home victory over Watford yesterday.

Gunn argued that while his side had tough matches to come, so did their rivals in the relegation zone.


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He said: “I handed the players a sheet of paper on Sunday which showed them the league table, re-confirmed the fixtures we had remaining and also showed them the fixtures the bottom eight teams had. Yes, we've got tough fixtures but so have those other teams.

“Whether that worked or inspired them I don't know - it might have done.”

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Getting out of the bottom three, albeit on goal difference, was a “massive boost”, said Gunn.

“I think certain sections of the media had seen us drop into the bottom three and were writing us off. But the result today has given us hope and it's in our own hands now,” he said.

“Three massive performances like we reached today, the same level of commitment and performance and nobody can take that status away from us. But we will have to at least match and if not better the level we attained today to make sure we're in the Championship next season.”

A 1-0 home win for Southampton over Crystal Palace and a goalless draw for 10-man Nottingham Forest at Sheffield United took some of the gloss off Norwich's afternoon, as did an injury for full-back Ryan Bertrand that forced him off four minutes from time.

“Ryan got a knock on his calf which he got early in the first half. But again there was that commitment from an excellent young player,” said Gunn. “He had a foot injury in the first minute at Swansea with his first tackle of the game, so he overcame that injury to play. We knew there was a problem with his calf but once we got that second goal, it gave us a little bit of security and we had a great replacement in Adam Drury.”

Flying back from Swansea at the directors' expense had been crucial in preparing the players for their second game in three days, said Gunn.

“Fitness was immense today. A lot of those players had played 90 minutes on Saturday, so that gesture, the fact we got them back into their homes and with their families and rested on the Saturday night, very early, helped,” he said.

“We didn't do any training. We just made sure that bodies and muscles were relaxed. There were a lot of painful faces in the last 10 minutes running about the pitch today but they wanted to stay on.

“Watford are dangerous and didn't give in. The way they tackled, the way they competed, it wasn't until seven minutes to go when the second goal went in that I actually felt comfortable.”

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