Vrancic happy to salvage win for City but calls for concentration after scare against Wycombe
- Credit: PA
Mario Vrancic was delighted to save the day again but feels concentration is an issue for Norwich City to improve upon, after letting Wycombe back into the game at Carrow Road.
The Canaries burst out of the traps and were in front within three minutes after Emi Buendia had set up Teemu Pukki for the early opener, with some classy attacking play.
However, slack defending of a long ball and a misjudgment from skipper Grant Hanley allowed Scott Kashet to beat Tim Krul to the ball in the 13th minute and the newly-promoted visitors grew in confidence to leave the hosts rattled.
With Wanderers searching for their first ever point in the second tier of English football after six successive defeats, it wasn’t until Adam Idah replaced Jordan Hugill in the 58th minute and then Vrancic came on for Oliver Skipp 10 minutes later that City truly regained control - with Hanley seeing a header cleared off the line and Pukki, Idah and Cantwell all forcing good saves.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a lack of confidence, maybe a lack of concentration in certain situations,” said Vrancic after the 2-1 win.
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“We were well prepared for the game, we knew they would play long ball, that they would use any free-kick to play a long ball and that’s how they scored the equaliser.
“In this couple of seconds we lost two headers, it drops into the box and obviously it was a lack of concentration.”
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In the end it was the Bosnia & Herzegovina midfielder who was fouled on the edge of the box by Fred Onyedimna at the start of injury-time, before curling in a beautiful free-kick
“It feels sweet. I’m just doing my job!” he joked. “I’m happy about the goal, I’m happy about the win and hopefully we can carry on.”
It followed his 87th minute winner against Birmingham in midweek, coming off the bench to salvage the win in that game as well - making it three late winners in three games from Daniel Farke’s team, after Jordan Hugill’s penalty snatched the points at Rotherham last weekend.
“Actually I don’t prefer that,” Vrancic said of the late drama. “It would be very exciting for the supporters! That’s how it is in this league, it’s very tough against any opponent. Eventually we got the win and that’s the most important thing.
“Sometimes it’s so difficult. The opponents like to drop deep, it’s hard to find the gaps. I think we created some opportunities again and didn’t score.”
Wycombe felt aggrieved by the decision to award the free-kick, claiming there had been minimal contact, but Vrancic dismissed claims of a dive.
“I think there was contact,” he added. “It’s enough if you have speed and someone touches you. I wouldn’t say it was a dive.”
The 31-year-old had been practising free-kicks during half-time and said he usually takes around 20 in training the day before a game.
However, matches still being played behind closed doors due to the Covid-19 pandemic denied him another special moment with Canaries fans, having famously scored a similar free-kick to salvage a crucial draw against Sheffield Wednesday in April 2019 as City closed on the Championship title.
“I think they would have enjoyed it probably, a lot,” he said of the fans’ absence. “But it is how it is, you can’t change it.
“I would say it still feels good.”