Norwich manager Dean Smith admits his team got drawn into a scrap against Charlton

The Kosovo international Milot Rashica struck with Norwich’s first goal since 30 November

Sonia Twigg
Sunday 09 January 2022 17:09
Dean Smith admitted Norwich were “embroiled in a scrap” against Charlton (Steven Paston/PA)
Dean Smith admitted Norwich were “embroiled in a scrap” against Charlton (Steven Paston/PA)

Dean Smith admitted Norwich were “embroiled in a scrap” as Milot Rashica’s late winner secured a hard-fought 1-0 win at Charlton in the FA Cup third round.

The Kosovo international struck with Norwich’s first goal since November 30 in the 79th minute after Charlton had dominated for large parts of the game.

Half-time substitute Rashica, who had played a large part in the Canaries’ improved second-half performance, was alert at the far post to tap home from a Teemu Pukki cross to give the visitors the lead.

“I was annoyed (about the first-half performance) because I thought we actually started the first five or 10 minutes alright, I thought we were quite bright on the ball,” Smith said.

“Then we got embroiled in a scrap and that’s not the way we play, we can’t play like that.

“We gave away too many free-kicks and allowed them to put the ball in the box and made it a real tough first half for us.

“We were always going to make changes because we needed to get minutes into the likes of Milot and Teemu and thankfully I think bringing that quality off the bench has helped us get the victory.”

It was Rashica’s first goal since his move to Carrow Road in the summer, and it brought an end to Norwich’s five-game losing streak.

“It certainly wasn’t a pretty game, it wasn’t anything I didn’t expect from Charlton, I thought they would be right up for it and would make it a proper FA Cup tie, but I wanted us to control the tempo and I don’t think we did that,” the Canaries boss added.

“We weren’t good enough on the ball but thankfully the bench has helped us out today at half time, I think we only had one shot in the first half and that wasn’t good enough but second half was a lot better.”

Charlton started brightly and outplayed their Premier League opposition in the first half, with Norwich’s first shot coming in the 39th minute.

However Johnnie Jackson’s side were unable to find the breakthrough despite hitting the crossbar in added time.

“I am frustrated and disappointed that we lost the game,” the Charlton boss said.

“I didn’t feel like we deserved to lose the game but that’s football, we were the dominant team for a lot of that football match there but obviously we’ve been unable to turn our dominance or our chances into goals and they had that one moment there where they broke on us.

“A bit of Premier League quality I guess has been the difference on the day.”

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