Roeder to read riot act

David Cuffley City boss Glenn Roeder is planning a series of face-to-face meetings with individual players at Colney tomorrow in the aftermath of last night's embarrassing FA Cup exit at Bury.

David Cuffley

City boss Glenn Roeder is planning a series of face-to-face meetings with individual players at Colney tomorrow in the aftermath of last night's embarrassing FA Cup exit at Bury.

The Canaries were beaten 2-1 in their third round replay at Gigg Lane - the ninth time in 11 seasons they have gone out of the competition at the first hurdle.

Bur rather than hurling the crockery around the dressing room, Roeder intends to take certain players into his office to discuss their below-par performances against the League Two strugglers..


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He said: "You're learning things all the time about your players. Just when you think you know everything, you learn something else. I think I have to go away and reflect on some of the players' performances tonight. There wouldn't be anyone who can sit on the coach going home thinking they gave their best tonight and played to their maximum potential, which they all did on Saturday.

"Some of the performances there tonight were so poor it's quite unbelievable and I need to talk to some players in private, which I told the dressing room afterwards. Tonight was not a time for the old-fashioned manager that slings tea cups and plates of sandwiches all over the dressing room. I think, personally, we're in the modern world now and that's rubbish. That wears very thin on players. It was a time to sit them down and have very much a heart-to-heart talk with them and some individuals were very aware that I will need to see them on Thursday morning individually in my office."

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Goals from Ben Futcher and Andy Bishop left City 2-0 down inside an hour, substitute Dion Dublin replying five minutes from time.

Roeder made five changes to the team that beat Barnsley 3-1 in Saturday's Championship match, but said it was not the reason for City's defeat.

He said: "There are no excuses. What we started with we worked on in training yesterday. It went very well. It didn't go well in the opening period in the first half but I told the players it's not formations that win games. They can help, but it's you as individuals that win games.

"We didn't perform and I am offering no excuses for my players. They have to be big and strong and mentally tough and accept that they were poor tonight, and any criticism that comes their way they have to take on the chin. They've had plenty of praise lately, which they've deserved, but tonight's a night when we'll all take some criticism and I'm certainly prepared to take my share of it as long as my players are because they'll be getting some from me on Thursday."

Neither did he blame the pitch, which survived a lunchtime inspection, with most of the game being played in heavy rain.

"Bury played well on it so there's no excuse for us not to play well on it," said Roeder.

He said the level of performance last night was "a shock to me" and insisted there would be a big improvement in Saturday's Championship match at home to Leicester..

He said: "It hurts a lot. It's hard to describe how much I'm hurting at the moment and I expect the players to be feeling exactly the same.

"It's been a long, long time since we've played as poorly as that but we have to accept our responsibilities as men, first of all. We haven't played, we never got started, and it hurts me to say that Bury deserved their victory, which they did. But I'm not one for looking back. I want to get over this quickly.

"We'll be back on Thursday and I'll actually demand that they're not coming in with long, disappointed faces. We've got to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and train properly - which they have done for long while now.

"There will be lessons that you can learn - that you can certainly never take anything for granted in football. We were brilliant on Saturday at Barnsley against a team that had only lost once at home until we beat them. We really wiped them away. But we've come here and we didn't put on a performance of any kind.

"It's a harsh lesson. Football is a cruel game but it doesn't make me love it any less.

"I am only now focusing on the game against Leicester and getting the boys in the right frame of mind, which I know they will be. They will come out fighting against Leicester on Saturday, I think even more so now because of what's happened here tonight.

"They've got to be men. They've not got to be little boys and hide away in corners. They've got to come out, take the whack on the chin for playing poorly and losing this game, and then go and show everybody that we are a good team when we all play well and stick together.

"Winning people in life always rise to the occasion whoever they're playing."

Full-back Jon Otsemobor should be fit to face Leicester despite Achilles trouble, which sidelined him last night.

"He wouldn't have got through two games in a short space of time and we obviously need him on Saturday for the game against Leicester and I'm sure he'll be fit," said Roeder

On-loan striker Ched Evans will also be available again. He was ineligible for the Bury tie.

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