Kevin Blackwell’s Thoughts on the Norwich GameDespite conceding 6 goals against premier league Norwich, Kevin Blackwell spoke of his delight at his team’s hearty performance and spirit. On the back of the result the gaffer reiterated that the club is continuing to build something and just need to continue to work hard, believe and continue to move forward.
'We are building something here, but I was pleased with was the response from the Norwich crowd at the end as they gave everyone a standing ovation, it really was a game and a half. I believe that Mark Bunn (goalkeeper) was named Man of the Match. He pulled off save after save. We had chances that hit the bar and post, and I believe that we had two good penalty shouts. I'm proud of the team that came here as they put on a really good performance. The way that we played was key, with some of the Norwich lads coming off the pitch at full-time crediting our play, I'm just really pleased with the players overall.
The ultimate difference between ourselves and Norwich though was the finishing, if we had presented the chances that we had to their strikers then we could have potentially won 10-6 or something, but every time they went around the box it finished up in the back of our net which was ultimately down to the quality of their strikers.
We were disappointed with the first two goals as defensively, it's something we've been better at. We knew that we were coming to a side that needed a win today, it was very much in my mind that they hadn't won a game so I knew that Chris (Houghton) would put a lot into winning this game and he showed this with the team that he put out, there were no under 21 players, his team were his players from the first team squad, so I think that says a lot.
We didn't let our heads drop after their goals we continued to create chance after chance but unfortunately three or four of the great chances we had we paid for as these lead to counter attacks from which they capitalised. I noted to the players that we won't come up against that sort of quality every week. I thought we played some really good football from which we opened up Norwich at will at times and if it wasn't for Mark Bunn it could have finished 6-6 or 7-7. When you looked out there tonight and you think that's what we have managed in 6 weeks, its phenomenal work and I am really proud of what they have achieved.
The stamina and fitness of the players could not be questioned as we know how hard they have worked but the premier league clubs move the ball quickly so as a lower league team you do have to do a bit more leg work, but we were still going strong at the end which shows the value of the hard work that we've been putting in.
As for Jessy’s goal - we know that we can shoot as we've seen it in training but we haven't wanted to just throw Jessy on just yet. He's only 20 years old and he's as raw as they come. He just wants to work really hard for us and he has been out every afternoon working on the ball and into feet. His first touch when he came on was sublime and his confidence seemed to just grow from there. He hit the bar for one of the goals. Then he shaped up and he hit it, we know he can hit it but my word to see that ball go into the back of the net, every person in the ground stood up and applauded the goal it was that good and I think that says it all.
To all the fans that travelled down, once again they were fantastic and they made the occasion.
On the back of this game and in terms of preparation for the league I said to the lads before the game and this is with no intended disrespect to the cup competition, this game was another game to aid our development. We highlighted things that we need to work on with the two centre halves and things that we need to work on with the front men, but as I've said, I'm learning about the players and they're learning about what is required but anyone who was at the games against Burton, Chesterfield and Oxford would say that this side has got something about it, we've just got to keep working, keep believing and moving forward.'
Watch a clip of this interview on YouTube or
watch the entire interview on Shakers Player