‘They gave us that extra 10pc and I’d like to thank them all’ – City star hails huge Cup following
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Josh Murphy caught the eye – but he admitted any enjoyment from another League Cup goal wasn’t making up for Norwich City’s exit at Arsenal.
The Canaries went down 2-1 after extra-time to their Premier League hosts in the Carabao Cup’s last 16, despite leading for most of the game through Murphy’s superbly taken opener.
That was his ninth goal in 12 career appearances in the competition, where he also has a couple of assists – and had he not lifted a gilt-edged second-half chance over the bar, he could have had another shot at adding to his tally this season.
Instead it will all be about the Championship for the rest of the year for Murphy and his team-mates, after a stirring night in front of almost 9,000 City supporters in north London.
“I like this competition, I really do – I just need to take that into the league now,” said Murphy. “It felt brilliant to score but I can’t think about it too much because we lost. It’d been perfect if we’d won the game but it is what it is.
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“I had loads of things going on in my head when I went through (in the second half). I’m just gutted it didn’t go in because if it had, we probably would’ve seen the game out.
“So it’s something I can’t dwell on too much. I know I should’ve scored, but the next chance I get I’m just going to put it away.
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“Everyone’s gutted in there. It was so close but we just couldn’t get over the line, and I think that’s the hardest thing to take because we gave them a run for their money.
“We can’t say we were the better team but we defended for our lives and you can’t fault the boys – and the manager can’t fault anyone for how well we did and how well we played.
“So I think despite the result, we’re not happy but we can take a lot of positives from the game.
“We stuck to the plan. The manager set us out and said we’d come here to give it a real go, this was how we were going to play, go out there and you’ll have a real good chance – and for 85 minutes we did it, and could’ve put the game to bed with my chance, Mario’s (Vrancic) chance and Nelson’s (Oliveira) chance. But it just wasn’t to be.”
Murphy reserved praise for the City supporters who packed an entire end of Emirates Stadium, to the point where it was almost tricky to work out which club was playing at home.
And like City’s victory at Middlesbrough last month, head coach Daniel Farke opted for a post-match huddle to get a few points across before the fans got their chance to salute their players.
“It was just the manager speaking and he was telling us how proud he was. I think – and I would hope – all our supporters that came felt the same way, because everyone gave their lives out there.
“You’re not a football club without your supporters and you can say we’ve got the best fan base in the league. They’ve come out here in their numbers. All of them stayed despite the result. They gave us that extra 10pc and I’d like to thank them all.
“You can see the togetherness and you can see that with all the fans as well. We’re really going places at the moment, so we can take a lot of positives from this.
“Our focus now is the game on Saturday against Derby and then on to Tuesday against Wolves. They’re two massive games and you’d say both are six pointers.
“So we’re just going to go and prepare right, because a lot of players played 120 minutes – and then we go again on Saturday.”