Sending off baffles Bees boss
DAVID CUFFLEY Barnet boss Paul Fairclough claimed he was “baffled” by the dismissal of midfielder Neal Bishop five minutes from the end of last night's match at Carrow Road.
Barnet boss Paul Fairclough claimed he was “baffled” by the dismissal of midfielder Neal Bishop five minutes from the end of last night's match at Carrow Road.
City's Mark Fotheringham was left with a small wound under his right eye after he and Bishop jumped together for a header.
Referee Darren Deadman produced a straight red card for Bishop to follow the five yellows he had issued in a sometimes bruising encounter, when Barnet's Sagi Burton and Ian Hendon also suffered facial injuries in clashes with City striker Chris Brown.
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Fairclough said: “I'm completely baffled by each of the incidents. I've got Sagi Burton who has received a cut across the face, and I believe the video may show there was an intentional elbow there.
“Then Ian Hendon has been struck in the face on the far side and has got the wound to show it, and then Neal Bishop has been sent off for an alleged elbow. But he is one of the most honest footballers I've ever come across, so I will study the video. I know what the rules are - it's all about intent. That lad has not got an intentional movement in him to injure somebody. He's not that kind of kid.”
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Brown was booked after the challenge on Burton and substituted seven minutes into the second half by manager Peter Grant, who felt his striker had taken his own share of punishment.
Fairclough said his players “were a little bit incensed” at half-time.
“They've conceded five goals, so emotionally, I don't think they're going to be the best judges of what is going right and what is going wrong.”
But the Barnet boss praised City's ruthless attacking play.
He said: “I believe at 2-0 down we were the better team. We'd had four excellent chances and everything seemed to fall into Norwich's hands. At 2-0 the younger players in the side lost a little bit of shape and reality and at that stage we needed to consolidate. At 2-0 you've always got a chance but then the goals were just rattled in and even then they just seemed to fall to people in the right areas at the right time and the right-back was causing us a lot of problems.
“But I want to congratulate Norwich. I thought the biggest feature of their play tonight was their counter-attack. It reminded me of an Arsenal team the way they broke.
“There was a lot to be said at half-time - a lot of positives and a lot of encouragement. Our season was about the second half. I believe this will be a defining moment in our season.
“We were like the gladiators in the gladiatorial ring. The locals were baying for our blood and for more but we stuck together, we put the shields out, we put the daggers in our mouths and came through it really strongly.”