Shackell: We're feeling the strain

Skipper Jason Shackell admitted City's desperate search for a victory was “getting to everyone” after Coca-Cola Championship leaders Watford inflicted more misery on the Carrow Road regulars.

Skipper Jason Shackell admitted City's desperate search for a victory was “getting to everyone” after Coca-Cola Championship leaders Watford inflicted more misery on the Carrow Road regulars.

The Hornets' 3-1 win stretched the Canaries' winless streak to 10 league games, eight of which have been defeats. They have already lost four league matches on home soil.

Watford led 2-0 at the interval thanks to a Darius Henderson goal and an unfortunate own goal by City 'keeper David Marshall, and though substitute Lee Croft reduced the arrears after the break, Marlon King wrapped up victory for the table-toppers two minutes from time.

Said Shackell: “We're disappointed. Watford are a good side, good at what they do, quick, good athletes and we found it hard to cope with them at times and it was another disappointing defeat.”

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But having to play just two days after their 2-2 derby draw with Ipswich was not an excuse, said the City captain, who made his 100th senior appearance for the club last night and would have hoped for a happier outcome.

He said: “I don't think that comes into it. We should be fit enough to deal with that. We had 48 hours for recovery. I don't think we can use that as an excuse at all.

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“We didn't play well enough. We didn't get the ball down and play like we did on Sunday, so we have to go back to the training pitch and look forward to Plymouth.

“It's getting to everybody. It's not nice to lose as a player, not even draw. We want wins and we've got to make sure we get one as soon as possible. Saturday would be a good start.”

New boss Glenn Roeder was “a level-headed guy” said Shackell, and had not read the riot act.

“He's had a little chat to us. He's got over to us his disappointment at how we played, but again, he's quite positive and he wants to start focusing on Saturday.”

Roeder rejected Watford's extra day to prepare as a reason for the defeat when he said: “I don't live in the world of excuses - never have and never will. We had long enough to prepare for the game.”

But he said: “I wasn't disappointed the way we started. I thought we were giving as good as we were getting against a team that are in the position they deserve to be in.

“They are the best equipped team in the division to win promotion straight back. They've got the type of player that is required for this division.”

Nevertheless, the new manager knows City's need for a win is becoming acute. He said: “We need men here - people that can handle the present situation that we're in, put that to the back of their minds and just go out and win a football match, because this club needs to win a football match. We all need to win a football match - everyone, the players do, I do, the staff do, the supporters do, because it's a long time since we've won one.”

He said: “I always expect to win. I always expect to take something from every home game and it was hugely disappointing to find ourselves 2-0 down at half-time, like we were on Sunday, chasing the game against a team that are runaway leaders at the moment.

“We gave ourselves a squeak of a chance at 2-1 when Croft scored but tonight I was living more in hope that we'd get an equaliser whereas Sunday I was very, very confident. I thought we'd win the game once we got the first goal back against Ipswich and all we did was get a point, but it was a very good comeback.

“Tonight I didn't feel we were playing well enough to be certain we'd get that goal.

“Two of the three goals were giveaways. I could just about live with their first goal although we lost good possession on the halfway line. The second was woeful, unacceptable.”

There would be no time for regrets ahead of the trip to Home Park, however, said Roeder.

“I want them to come in with enthusiasm to get back to work and focus now on Plymouth. I don't want any leftovers from tonight. I don't any moping around because that's all negative stuff and then that will be a waste of a day tomorrow.”

Forward Luke Chadwick is the latest injury concern after being substituted in the second half with a hamstring problem.

Said Roeder: “Chadwick came off because his hamstring is tight. Again, like Dion Dublin, we didn't take a chance and leave him on too long. It will make him a doubt for Saturday.”

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