Sebastien Bassong is convinced over Norwich City's future and laments the ghost of Bradley Johnson in Derby defeat
PUBLISHED: 17:31 28 November 2016 | UPDATED: 17:33 28 November 2016
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Scripts get written before kick-off - it just depends on whether the players want to carry them out on the pitch.
While the next instalment of Alex Neil’s future slipped by and Kyle Lafferty couldn’t produce the killer twist so many hoped for, it was Bradley Johnson who ensured his story was told come full time.
“Yeah, Bradley… I had a couple of phone calls with Bradley before the game and he’s a good friend of mine – and he’s the last one I wanted to score,” admitted Sebastien Bassong.
“So I’ll get a bit of stick from him after this, but that’s how it goes. If someone was going to score, it was going to be him. That’s good for him, unlucky for us – but life goes on.”
And that life isn’t looking much easier for the Canaries than it did before Saturday’s trip to Derby.
A fifth successive defeat won’t change anything in terms of Alex Neil’s position ahead of next weekend’s visit from Brentford – and Bassong believes accusations of mental fragility and defensively frailty have also been answered.
“Did you see that today?” quizzed Bassong. “I didn’t see any fragility. Giving away goals? We’re told to forget about the past and be in the present moment and here, I didn’t see that. As a squad we didn’t. Yes we conceded a goal, a long-distance shot from Bradley. Good for him.
“We’re disappointed, I think that’s the fair word. Overall the performance was good. I know when you come off from a defeat you can’t say you had a good game, but overall I think we did. We just couldn’t get this goal. We created chances throughout the game. We were solid, from Cameron (Jerome) and Kyle (Lafferty) to John (Ruddy). It was bit unlucky and that is what happens when you are on a bad run.
“It’s true, we shouldn’t be on a run like this. But the season is long, especially in the Championship.
“It’s not the form people were expecting us to have. Even ourselves. We’ve got to fix it and I think we are on the way to fixing it. Game after game, things are coming back to normal and I’m sure sooner than later it’s going to turn around and then we’ll forget about all this.”
That would be good news for manager Alex Neil, as well as the City supporters – because if the current becomes the new normal, it would be terminal.
“We owe ourselves better results,” said Bassong. “The manager is not on his own. We’re all together. So if we owe something to someone, we owe it to ourselves, Alex Neil owes something to himself and to our team-mates, who owe something to me and to Alex Neil. There’s no point to isolate him. We’re all together.
Bassong added: “What do you want me to say about the fans? We try to repay them and are trying to do that as much as we can. They are always behind us, no matter what, no matter when, no matter how cold it is, they are always there. So that’s the least we can do, give everything we have. And that’s what we’re trying to do.”