Roeder blasts City for missed chances

Chris Lakey Norwich City's misfiring strikers were on the receiving end of manager Glenn Roeder's black mood after Saturday's FA Cup let-down against League Two Bury.

Chris Lakey

Norwich City's misfiring strikers were on the receiving end of manager Glenn Roeder's black mood after Saturday's FA Cup let-down against League Two Bury.

"We didn't play very well, but we made enough chances to win two games," he said. "We have got to start taking some chances and I have let the players know that after the game.

"There are dues and responsibilities for all players in certain positions. If you play as a striker and chances arrive you are paid to take them and we are not taking anywhere nearly enough of the chances we are creating.

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"That's not just today that is over the Christmas period in general. We certainly can play a lot better and I should have known what was coming when we missed an open goal in the first 40 seconds."

It was Chris Martin who missed an open goal in the first minute, but there were others, some named, some not, who will have felt the force of Roeder's wrath.

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"We work every day on finishing, crossing and finishing and straightforward finishing around the edge of the box," he added. "They don't have any problems hitting the back of the net then, but they have got to accept the responsibility, certain players, that they are missing far too may chances.

"We have strikers at the moment who are not fulfilling what they are meant to do. Not just strikers - Darren Huckerby went clean through and at the level he has played at he shouldn't be missing chances like that.

"Jon Otsemobor, in the last few minutes from four yards, is whacking the ball at the keeper when I would have thought it would have been easier, with the full goal to hit, to miss the keeper and let the ball hit the back of the net.

"I can't disguise the fact that we didn't do well. In terms of performance we need to do a lot better. We know we can as we proved against Crystal Palace only a few days ago, but we have given ourselves an extra game.

"We have to go up to Gigg Lane - we are happy to go up there and we are happy to go up there and win the game.

"Since I have been here I have never been able to criticise them for not getting their heads down or giving up, not trying their hardest, they will always do that - they know that or else.

"But the quality has got to be better and it is very frustrating that it wasn't there today. I would say the one real positive that I take out of it was young Ryan Bertrand's performance when he came on to the field. I thought he looked a very classy left back."

Roeder's anger at strikers wasn't confined to those in yellow and green - Bury's Andy Bishop was, he claimed, two yards offside when he put the visitors ahead.

"Their goal was two yards offside - clearly," he said. "I have seen it enough times now. It won't be only us that's been let down by officials this weekend, but again, strikers are expected to score goals when the chances come, linesman are meant to put their flag up when someone is clearly two yards offside. We feel completely let down by the linesman on that side.

"We held a high line and the lad ran in before the ball was delivered and he's clearly two yards offside and has had a free header."

Roeder was without skipper Jason Shackell, who failed to shake off a knock received on New Year's Day - although he will be fit for Barnsley on Saturday, while Otsemobor was rested because of an Achilles problem. Dion Dublin played in defence alongside scorer Gary Doherty, with midfielder Darel Russel at right-back.

"Jon is carrying a sore Achilles," Roeder explained. "It was an opportunity to give him a little bit of a break from the start of the game. It is something he will play with until the end of the season with no problem but I thought today was a good opportunity to rest him and hopefully not have to use him, but I thought it made sense during the second half to get him on, use his pace going forward and put Darel Russell into the centre of midfield."

Glenn Roeder declined to elaborate on the departure of goalkeeping coach Jim Hollman, whose departure was announced on Friday.

City were linked with Ballymena manager Tommy Wright, who was with Newcastle when Roeder was manager there.

Roeder said: "Jim has left the club and we don't need to elaborate on that, but we are looking for a new goalkeeping coach. The reports on Tommy Wright were wide of the mark, he is not joining us."

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