‘We need to find that steel’ - Captain delivers blunt City verdict
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
There was no attempt to look for excuses from Norwich City captain Grant Hanley after a 5-0 slump at Manchester City, with the defender admitting the Canaries have much to work on.
While the reigning Premier League champions were impressive and can boast one of the best squads in world football, the visitors were not able to make life difficult for Pep Guardiola’s stars.
“Disappointing, obviously, to lose in the manner that we did, massively disappointing,” said Hanley.
“But we know that the Premier League is a different animal and you get punished, especially when you come to places like this and you’re not quite right.
“We need to keep moving on, we need men in the dressing room. This is no time to feel sorry for ourselves, we need to stand up and be counted, really stick together as a group, keep looking to improve and be competitive.”
The hosts were 2-0 up at the break and had seen a goal disallowed by VAR, correctly for a foul in the build-up.
Hanley’s clearance had cannoned in off keeper Tim Krul for the opener before £100million signing Jack Grealish turned in a second before the break, with the Citizens unrelenting in their attacking play.
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Daniel Farke reacted by replacing the struggling Dimitris Giannoulis and Lukas Rupp with Bali Mumba and Kenny McLean at half-time but further goals from Aymeric Laporte and substitutes Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez wiped out any signs of improvement early in the second half from Norwich,
“On this level, the little things make a big difference and that’s why the score is what it is today,” continued the Scot.
“We did find it tough, we had little periods in the game when we had possession but we need to find that steel, that grit, within us individually and collectively.”
After a brutal start to the campaign, against Liverpool and Manchester City, a League Cup home tie against Bournemouth on Tuesday is following by a top-flight visit of Leicester.
A trip to Arsenal follows the international break, ahead of a crunch home clash with Watford and trips to Everton and Burnley.
“It’s quite raw, it’s quite fresh, it’s hard to put my finger on it right now but the most important thing is to stick together,” the Scotland international added.
“We need to really focus on ourselves, on improving, there’s no time to feel sorry for ourselves, we need men in the dressing room and men on the pitch.”