Early lapses put Canaries in need of wake-up call

Queen's Park Rangers 3 Norwich City 0
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The Independent Football

Those hopes are looking shaky enough as it is. The Norfolk side were four goals behind last Tuesday at Luton before they replied with a couple of consolation efforts and then swiftly shipped three at Loftus Road on Saturday, effectively ending any ideas, even before half-time, of a point. The confidence engendered by their East Anglia derby win against Ipswich a month ago has rapidly disappeared.

Dean Ashton, sporting a cut above his left eye, articulated the general frustration at the Canaries' form but admitted, worryingly, that no one appears any closer to working out its root cause.

"This was as bad if not worse than Tuesday," he said. "There's been a lot of talking going on in the dressing-room and so there should be. Once again it's not good enough. Everyone's trying to get together to find out what is going wrong. Individually we've got to look at ourselves and ask, 'Are we doing enough?'"

Ashton's cut, which needed three stitches, was testament to his commitment to the team cause, but the defenders need to look at their contribution. Lee Cook's cross from the left wing to Kevin Gallen at the far post was in the air long enough for Jim Brennan to cover but there was no resistance as his headed pass was met by the equally unguarded Marc Nygaard six yards out.

For their second goal Cook again supplied the ball, this time from a free-kick, for Paul Furlong - with his back to goal - to flick his header past Robert Green while Georges Santos had too much time to volley in from 20 yards after Ashton's headed clearance only looped up to the midfielder.

Ashton added: "I don't think concentration is the problem. We're just too easy to score against."

He then had a slip in his own concentration when he said: "We set out four banks of four and within half an hour they're 3-0 up which can't be right." His meaning was clear but their manager, Nigel Worthington, must feel right now that 16 players on the pitch is what he needs.

Goals: Nygaard (11) 1-0; Furlong (18) 2-0; Santos (42) 3-0.

Queen's Park Rangers (4-4-2): Royce; Bignot, Shittu, Evatt, Dyer; Gallen, Bircham (Santos, 38), Doherty, Cook (Ainsworth, 83); Furlong, Nygaard (Sturridge, 26) Substitutes not used: Cole (gk), Moore.

Norwich City (4-4-2): Green; Colin, Doherty, Fleming, Brennan; Henderson (Marney, h-t), Hughes, Charlton, McVeigh (Ryan Jarvis, h-t); Ashton, Huckerby. Substitutes not used: Ward (gk), Louis-Jean, Rossi Jarvis.

Referee: R Olivier (West Midlands).

Booked: QPR: Bignot; Norwich: Hughes, McVeigh.

Man of the match: Cook.

Attendance: 15,976.