Norwich City boss Neil Adams promises there is more to come after Ipswich derby success
17:26 23 August 2014
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Neil Adams insisted Norwich City will get even better after beating East Anglian rivals Ipswich 1-0 in Saturday’s Championship derby at Portman Road.
The Canaries’ recent dominance over their Suffolk neighbours continued with Lewis Grabban securing a sweet away win after notching his fourth Championship goal of the new season.
City had to endure a nervous ending to a game where they carved out the best chances. Grabban lifted over with Dean Gerken to beat early in the second period before Tommy Smith kicked his goalbound effort off the line with City looking dangerous on each fresh counter. Adams, however, was happy to savour his first derby win as a manager but knows there is room for improvement.
“I’m delighted with the victory,” he said. “I thought we needed to be better in the first half. I said to the players at the break we didn’t move the ball as quickly or as sharply as had to. Even though we were winning the game I felt we could step it up. Defensively throughout the game we were excellent but we could have added one or two more goals in that second half. We missed some good chances and we restricted them.
“It’s a great start for Lewis. Four goals in four and we’ve just had a bit of a laugh in the changing room saying he should have had a couple more. I think the chip just shows you the sign of his confidence. If he had not scored and was having a bad time he would have put his foot through it, which was probably the right decision. It went for the one over the keeper and got a bit on it and if he had we might not have been biting our nails as much.”
Adams made a point of issuing a public apology to Ipswich chief Mick McCarthy in his post-match interview after failing to shake hands with Town’s management on the final whistle. The City chief went over to the far side of the stadium to celebrate with the 2,000 strong travelling support at the end.
“I want to apologise to Mick and Terry (O’Connor) – I was out of order, completely unintentionally. I hope you all report that,” he said. “I was too caught up in the moment and I didn’t shake his hand or Terry’s. I should have shown more respect to them and shaken both their hands before I went off on my celebrations. Hand on heart it was definitely not intentional. I would definitely not have been happy if it had been flipped so big apologies to Mick and Terry, they’re good people and I apologise unreservedly.
“Terry came on to the pitch to shake my hand and that’s when I realised, ‘I’ve forgotten, I’ve made a big mistake’. It’s my fault, it wasn’t intended and hopefully they will accept that with grace. I don’t want to argue with Mick.
“As for the fans I know what they will be feeling, they’ve got a happy weekend now. I’ve always had a fantastic relationship with the fans. I remember playing here, it’s a great feeling. They can go back up the road with smiles on their faces, and that’s what we said at the start of the season what we wanted to do.”
Beaten Town counterpart McCarthy appeared willing to accept Adams’ public apology when he later faced the media.
“So he should (apologise). I tend to deal with my matters with other managers and coaches individually and on my own. He probably said that because he thought I’d mention it,” he said. “Listen, he’s got a good team, they’re a good side and they’ve just beaten us. If it’s a lesson in etiquette (he needs) then the first people he should shake hands with is me and TC. I’ve done it when we’ve been beaten six and five.
“We were playing against a good team that has come down from the Premier League with good players and they’ve signed some more good players. They’ve got a good squad. It’s no disgrace how we played against them, it’s just difficult when it’s our nearest and not so dearest.”
Ryan Bennett’s early injury exit was the only sour footnote for the vistors and Adams now faces an anxious wait to assess the full extent of the ankle injury.
“I’m concerned with Ryan. He’s gone over on his ankle, he’s on crutches at the minute and in a protective boot, which is mandatory for an injury,” he said.
“Until we get it scanned we won’t know, but we’re obviously desperately hoping that he’s just sprained it rather than anything more serious. He’s quite sore at the minute.”