Reliance on loans undermined hopes says loanee Lee
Canary cult hero Alan Lee insisted Bryan Gunn should not be a relegation fall guy. Lee emerged as one of the few with his reputation intact after City's miserable capitulation at Charlton.
Canary cult hero Alan Lee insisted Bryan Gunn should not be a relegation fall guy.
Lee emerged as one of the few with his reputation intact after City's miserable capitulation at Charlton.
The Crystal Palace loanee capped another totally committed display with the second goal of his seven match spell. But the 30-year-old - an instant hit despite his Suffolk connections - ironically believes it was the club's over-reliance on short term fixes this season that ultimately consigned the Canaries to League One.
“I think the manager's cards were dealt for him because it looked like they were going down when he took over,” said Lee. “We're down in a relegation scrap and you're relying on loan players. I think the gaffer had to rely on those lads when the ideal situation is you had 11 players who were Norwich players and wanted to be here and play a full part.
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“Ideally you want to start the season with a team and carry on like that. I really feel sorry for the gaffer for what he has had to deal with when half the team are not his own. Perhaps it's not my place to say but you know it's going to be difficult not having a team at the start of the season that is not going to carry you through. That is a tough hand to be dealt.”
Lee remains convinced Gunn can lead the fightback next season and the Irishman is desperate to be one of his key lieutenants.
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“Yes, I want to be a part of putting this right and I have told the gaffer that after the game,” he said. “Relegation is there now on my CV as a player - but the low I feel now is nothing compared to if I don't stay here and help this club get out of League One.
“I think in this game we didn't go that extra mile but it's not the end of Norwich City FC. The fans were, once again, fantastic and they deserve better than what we gave them but I know come next year they will be back. If we can get a team together and a squad of our players, get a good team spirit going, then we can kick on and have a great season and try to put this behind us.”
Lee's close range header in first half stoppage time raised faint hopes of an unlikely comeback after Charlton carved open City's porous defence three times in a sorry 30 minute spell.
“To be 3-0 down after 30 minutes is an absolute disaster but I suppose that tells us a story as players,” he said. “I know Barnsley have gone and done what they had to do but we should still have had enough to win this game. We just have to take a good look at ourselves and say we have not been good enough - nowhere near.
“I wish I could put my finger on it but there was nothing in the build-up to suggest that we would go out and produce that type of display. Losing in that fashion is a tough one but this is over the course of a season. It doesn't come down to one game. Right at this minute it feels like absolutely the worst situation I have been in as a player. Everyone is a bit numb, myself included, what else can you say?”