We must use this, says Safri

JONATHAN REDHEAD Norwich City man-of-the-match Youssef Safri said spirits were still high in the camp despite the end of their FA Cup dream.


Norwich City man-of-the-match Youssef Safri said spirits were still high in the camp despite the end of their FA Cup dream.

Safri was the Canaries' top performer and showed Premiership class against the likes of Frank Lampard and wonderkids Jon Obi Mikkel and Lassana Diarra.

But the Moroccan's best efforts and those of his team-mates came to nought as Chelsea scored four unanswered goals to secure their passage into the Cup quarter-finals. Yet, there were some major scares for the home side, not least when Dickson Etuhu hit the post and Lee Croft missed the follow-up chance with the goal at his mercy.

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However, the City side gave an impressive account of themselves and now Safri is hoping the momentum can be carried forward to the league and a hopeful last-ditch promotion push to the Premiership.

“I think we did well in the game,” Safri said. “I think the first two goals were sloppy goals and we should have scored first. Dickson (Etuhu) and Crofty (Lee Croft) had the best chances to score.

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“For me it's the not result of the game. Every one was pleased in the dressing room despite the result. We know how well we did play and it gives us a lot of confidence at the moment playing against the champions of England and the one of the best clubs in Europe.

“I'm happy with my perfo-rmance and the team perfor-mance and everything and we must focus now on Tuesday's game with Preston.”

Safri and Dickson Etuhu formed an excellent partnership in the middle of midfield and helped City to a fine start. And Safri admitted he did not find the game as quick as he might have expected.

“We did start really good and when you have those chances you believe in yourselves. Like I said it was a really good feeling, and especially if we would have scored. I'm a bit disappointed for the boys because they did deserve something for the game.

“To be honest the rhythm of the game wasn't that hard and the rhythm wasn't that quick.

“They gave us the time to play the ball but they were really quite tight in at the back and in the midfield as well, but that did not surprise me about Chelsea because they have got really good players. We did well but all the best to them because they were good and a great club as well.

“We were playing against a really good side, but some of our players showed they can play in the Premiership as well.”

City's midfielder said it was an 'honour' to play against the Premiership champions and said he spoke to a couple of his African counterparts before the game.

“Before the kick-off I was talking to (Khalid) Boulharouz because he is Moroccan as well although he plays with the Dutch national team.

“He is a really good player and I was talking to Didier Drogba too because we can talk in French and I played against him in the African Nations Cup too and Kalou as well.

“He just wished me luck and said maybe he would score but he is a really nice guy.”

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