Tuesday 23 January 2018

Mackay blasts Fer play as Norwich ace stands by 'goal'

Norwich City 0 Cardiff City 0

Norwich City's Leroy Fer
Norwich City's Leroy Fer

Tom Prentki

Unrepentant and unbowed, Leroy Fer insisted his injury-time 'goal' should have stood at Carrow Road.

The Dutch midfielder shot into an empty net as Cardiff City 'keeper David Marshall waited for the ball to be returned to him having kicked it out for a Norwich City player to receive treatment. Had the goal stood Norwich would have moved out of the bottom three and Fer (below) said: "I thought, 'yeah the Cardiff players are going to be angry,' but I just walked away. In Holland, it's like that. If you get the throw-in you can play on."

With players squaring up to each other on the pitch, and Norwich manager Chris Hughton telling Cardiff counterpart Malky Mackay he would order his players to let the visitors score, referee Mike Jones calmed the mood by insisting Norwich take the throw-in again as he had not given permission for it to be taken.

Fer said he was "confused" as Jones "had signalled" for team-mate Ricky van Wolfswinkel to take the throw-in and that his countryman told him to "put it in the back of the net". TV pictures suggested Jones had indicated the throw could be taken.

Jones' solution was applauded by Mackay, who said he felt that "common sense had prevailed". Mackay, who added Fer's action lacked "respect" and "sportsmanship," declared himself "delighted" with his side's point after a difficult few weeks in south Wales.

It is hardly surprising that the Cardiff manager has warned Craig Bellamy against rushing into management, telling the experienced striker "it can go wrong quickly".

Just a few months ago, Mackay was toasting promotion to the Premier League and preparing to spend Vincent Tan's considerable transfer kitty, but his relationship with the club's Malaysian benefactor now appears paper-thin.

Tan's stated aim of a top-four finish would not be shared by even the most optimistic Bluebird, though Norwich's pre-season ambition of a place in the top 10 is equally difficult to imagine given their current form.

Robert Snodgrass and Gary Hooper were both guilty of profligacy in front of goal for Hughton's side, though Hooper was also denied by a post.

In the second half Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy showed why he is a genuine England alternative to Manchester City's Joe Hart. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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