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Vrancic left so frustrated by "very strange" implosion from City during defeat to Blades

PUBLISHED: 20:48 08 December 2019 | UPDATED: 21:58 08 December 2019

Mario Vrancic tested Sheffield United keeper Dean Henderson in the first half of Norwich City's defeat 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Mario Vrancic tested Sheffield United keeper Dean Henderson in the first half of Norwich City's defeat Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Paul Chesterton

Mario Vrancic admits Norwich City's players have let themselves down in the past week, missing two big opportunities to vastly improve their Premier League survival prospects.

After an encouraging upturn of a 2-0 win at Everton and a 2-2 home draw with Arsenal, the Canaries lost 2-1 at struggling Southampton and then threw away a lead at Carrow Road yesterday, losing 2-1 to Sheffield United.

"Very disappointing," the midfielder said of those two defeats. "We had a very decent first half, controlled more or less the whole game and unfortunately we had a very poor first 15 or 20 minutes of the second half and unfortunately that cost us the game."

Alex Tettey's fine left-footed strike gave City the half-time advantage but two goals in three minutes soon after the restart left the hosts shell-shocked - and still in 19th, two points above rock-bottom Watford.

"It was very strange," Vrancic said of that implosion. "We should analyse it again, we can't change it, but we knew there were going to bring a lot of crosses and stuff.

"First half we were able to clear the ball but second half obviously it didn't work that well and at the end those crucial situations cost us the game."

Enda Stevens towered over Max Aarons to head in a cross in the 49th minute, swiftly followed by Vrancic missing a chance to clear and Tim Krul being unable to keep out George Baldock's low strike.

"Every goal you concede is very frustrating, especially that kind of goal," he added, of the equaliser.

"They got a great boost from it, we talked about it a lot in our preparation, but obviously you can't avoid a cross and, what can I say? It was very disappointing that we were not able to clear the ball."

The defeat tees up a difficult trip to high-flying Leicester on Saturday, who won their eighth successive game as they triumphed 4-1 at Aston Villa, a result which keeps Norwich within four points of safety, thanks to Southampton also losing 2-1 at Newcastle on Sunday.

"Obviously it's quite difficult but there's no point in us losing confidence," Vrancic continued. "Sometimes you are struggling and getting bad results but there's no point in giving up.

"You have to analyse the things that we are doing wrong, get the best out of it and try to gain points next week."

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