‘We dominated from start to finish’ - Gibson insists loss to Derby has not set alarm bells ringing for City
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Debutant defender Ben Gibson was in no mood to blame transfer window distractions for Norwich City’s 1-0 home loss to Derby and is convinced the Canaries are close to finding their Championship form.
Todd Cantwell was left out again and Gibson came in for his first appearance as Ben Godfrey had his medical ahead of a move to Everton in a deal worth an initial £25million.
Emi Buendia did return to the team and produced a mixture of brilliance and frustration after links to Fenerbahce and Villarreal had emerged in recent days, ahead of the European transfer deadline at 11pm on Monday.
The Canaries head into the international break with just four points from four games but will return knowing what their squad looks like as the domestic deadline is at 5pm on Friday, October 16, the day before a trip to Rotherham as Daniel Farke tries to get his revamped squad settled after Premier League relegation.
“I wouldn’t say it’s difficult, as a club I think we’ve handled it really well,” Gibson said of the window potentially causing an unsettled dressing room. “I’ve loved every minute of it since I first came in, we’ve got a fantastic bunch of lads, real leaders.
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“You can’t take away the result but if you look at the performance, one moment of quality - maybe the penalty goes in - and we’re stood here getting all kinds of superlatives.
“So it’s very easy to overreact in football, to be too high when we pop a team off the park and win 2-0, and I’d say the same on the other foot, we don’t get too low because we’ve lost.
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“We dominated from start to finish, one moment of quality from Wayne Rooney and we didn’t quite muster that up ourselves.
“So nothing of that sort, no excuses, we’ve got a real good bunch of lads and I’m sure we’ll keep pushing on, roll our sleeves up and rise to the challenge.”
That penalty incident saw an Onel Hernandez shot handled but Teemu Pukki slipping as he tried to convert, to scuff the spot-kick over in the 52nd minute.
It was the excellent Rooney free-kick in the 87th minute which settled matters but former Canaries keeper David Marshall was needed to produce brilliant saves from Max Aarons and substitute striker Jordan Hugill either side of the goal - as the Rams picked up their first points of the season.
Gibson said of the Manchester United legend’s winner: “Super talented player, England’s record goal-scorer, shows his quality. We couldn’t quite muster that but I said to Tim (Krul) there that if he gets beaten on his own side then I’m going crazy at him.
“If he whips it round the wall and puts it in the top corner, sometimes you’ve got to applaud the finish, but we’ve got to look at what we can do better and that’s in the build up to giving the free-kick away, when we were right up the pitch.
“And also, in general, to take our chances and not to create more from being so dominant.”
The Burnley loanee also has no doubt that Finland star Pukki will bounce back from the unfortunate miss, which proved so pivotal to a game that City had dominated.
“Teemu Pukki is absolutely clinical at this level. He missed a penalty, he’ll miss more, that’s the way it is with penalties,” the former Middlesbrough centre-back added.
“I’m sure Teemu will get a lot of goals this season, he doesn’t have to prove anything to anyone. I know he’ll be frustrated but he’s a top drawer player.
“At this level he’s absolutely clinical. Yeah he missed today but he’ll score the next one.”