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Manager sure he made the right choice

PUBLISHED: 11:48 06 April 2009 | UPDATED: 13:36 03 July 2010

BRYAN Gunn admitted that Alan Lee could feel hard done by after failing to make the starting line-up on Saturday - but insisted that he was right to go with a tried and trusted formula.

BRYAN Gunn admitted that Alan Lee could feel hard done by after failing to make the starting line-up on Saturday - but insisted that he was right to go with a tried and trusted formula.

The City boss started with Alan Gow and David Mooney in attack with two wide men - with Lee sitting patiently on the bench for 68 minutes before being awarded the rare honour for an ex-Ipswich player of a warm welcome from the Carrow Road crowd.

By then Gunn had chosen to take more of a direct route to goal, and while it didn't come up trumps, the evidence was again there that Lee has enough about him to make a valuable contribution at a valuable time of the season.

“It was tough, very tough, because he came in the other weekend (at Birmingham) and he gave us a different dimension,” explained Gunn. “What I said to big Alan was that I was hoping we could recreate the play we had in the Cardiff and the Plymouth games with Mooney and Gow, so big Alan can probably feel a little bit disappointed with my decision.

“But I made my decision with good intention to try and achieve the result. But we had to resort to a more direct game in the second half. We felt we got some joy from that and certainly the disallowed goal and the possible penalty kick in that more direct approach gave us more opportunities.

“That is his quality. He has got that power. It was good to see the reaction of the fans when he came on. There were obviously a lot of doubters when we signed him but I think the 90 minutes against Birmingham and the 30 minutes he played today proved that he wants to pay for Norwich City and he's not worried about the connections with our rivals down the road.”

City were undone because they didn't heed Gunn's words of warning at half-time, and allowed Jermaine Johnson to score off the boot of Jon Otsemobor.

“I was disappointed by the defending,” said Gunn. “We had spoken at half-time about Jermaine Johnson and trying to keep him going down the left side because he will always want to cut in on his right. He was given that opportunity and we were disappointed with the defensive situation there.”

While referee Mike Russell's decision to rule out Mooney's late effort caused controversy, it couldn't hide the fact that City were below par, compared to recent games.

“We didn't play well in the first half,” said Gunn. “It was an open game, obviously Sheffield Wednesday played very relaxed football.

“There wasn't much in the game second half. I didn't get a chance to say this to David Marshall but he made an excellent save in the first half when he touched one around the post. I didn't realise it was such a good save. He was unfortunate because the goal was a deflection. Had it not been deflected I'm sure he would have saved that as well.”

But there were no teacups flying in the dressing room post-match as Gunn tries to keep a steady ship before the weekend trip to Swansea and then the Easter Monday game at home to Watford.

“It was all calm and collected,” he said. “We have got to really focus as a group, that's staff and players, to make sure that we go in a confident mood to Swansea.

“We have had a good run of results - 10 points return from five previous games - so now we have got to focus on the five games we have got between now and the end of the season because we can't change what happened today. We need everyone to believe that we can get ourselves safe.”


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