Audio: Norwich City's painful end grates with Andrew Surman
PUBLISHED: 15:25 15 April 2012 | UPDATED: 16:38 15 April 2012
©Focus Images Limited www.focus-images.co.uk +447814 482222
Andrew Surman was happy to make an impact on Saturday, but admitted Manchester City's killer 20-minute finalé was a painful one.
The midfielder scored his fifth goal of the season to throw Norwich City a genuine lifeline at Carrow Road – only for the Premier League title hopefuls to weather the hosts’ storm before eventually putting the Canaries to the sword in devastating fashion.
And the half-time substitute conceded the final quarter of the game annoyed Paul Lambert’s squad.
“They do grate, because to get back to 2-1 we really felt we could sniff something out of the game and maybe get a point, and we did have their goal under a lot pressure up until that period,” said Surman.
“But if you don’t take your chances and you don’t make the most of it, that’s what they can do to you on the break and it was devastating finishing really.
“It was tough. They’re a good side. I think it was disappointing, that 20-minute period where we conceded those four goals. We were in the game up until then really and we had their goal under pressure.
“I think the fans realised we were up against a great team today. It looks like a drubbing but for large periods we were in it and it is hard to swallow in front of your home fans.
“But it’s great they were still there at the end of the game to applaud us off after being beaten 6-1 and I think they realised we came up against very tough opposition.
“We tried to give a good account of ourselves and everyone worked 100pc, but sometimes you just can’t stop a team like Manchester City scoring. They are almost impossible to stop in that form.”
Manchester City’s title chances appeared over this time last week – but given their purring performance at Carrow Road and an arguably more comfortable 5-1 triumph at the Etihad in Decemeber, Norwich fans may be perplexed over how Roberto Mancini’s men are not certainties for the Premier League crown this season.
After the 11-2 aggregate, Surman admitted Norwich will be glad to see the back of them this season.
“It’s 11 goals in the two games we’ve played against them, so it is very difficult to swallow,” he said. “I think in large parts of the game today we did compete, but if you give them a few chances then they’re going to take them and that’s what they did.
“They probably scored their first one against the run of play. We started off really well and probably could’ve been 1-0 up ourselves.
“But then you’ve got players like Tevez and Aguero who are going to come up and score from nothing, which he (Tevez) did really from an angle. It was a great strike and then you’ve got an uphill struggle against a team pushing for the title.”
And then the visitors could call on the likes of Yaya Toure and Adam Johnson off the bench, as well as affording England midfielder James Milner a Saturday free from competitive action.
“Yes, and Micah Richards – that’s why they are the richest club in the world and they’ve got some of the best players in the world,” said Surman. “It’s not just their starting XI, they’ve got a really talented squad and I suppose when you can bring players like that on, you’re going to be pushing for titles.
“Take nothing from us, I think we did compete in large periods. I know the 6-1 maybe flattered them a little bit but their chances, they took them, and that’s why they are the best players in the world.
“But you don’t really want stand here and accept that – we’ve come up against world class players every week this season. I suppose sometimes you have to say their finishing was different class, but we’ve got to put this behind us now.”