EFL

David Wagner understands fans’ reaction after Norwich lose to Watford

By Sports Desk November 28, 2023

Boss David Wagner said Norwich fans had “every reason” to call for his sacking after Watford came back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at Vicarage Road.

Goals from Danny Batth and Hwang Ui-jo put the Canaries in control with just 12 minutes on the clock but Watford levelled thanks to two goals in three minutes after the half-hour mark from Ismael Kone and Mileta Rajovic.

Yasir Asprilla completed the comeback in the 77th minute with a deftly-taken goal that may have been ruled out for offside had VAR been in operation.

Many Norwich fans had lost their patience with Wagner before that, however, booing the substitution of Adam Idah, and some stayed on after the final whistle to call for his sacking.

“They have every reason – we are not happy as well,” said the German, who was appointed in January. “I understand the frustration. It is the unfortunate nature of the game.

“The supporters show their feelings, which is fine. If we had won it, it would be different.

“I am focused on the work. I have the main responsibility, I have always said this, but also it is the players who win the games.”

Canaries fans had called for Wagner’s sacking at the start of the month, when Blackburn won 3-1 at Carrow Road.

Wins over Cardiff and QPR bought Wagner time but a new sporting director has now arrived in ex-Arsenal loans manager Ben Knapper.

“I don’t feel I am on trial,” Wagner added. “I worked my socks off with my team to win this game but it didn’t happen. We have to reset ourselves and go again on Sunday.”

Watford manager Valerien Ismael was delighted with the way his team recovered from a dreadful start to bank three points that were totally deserved.

“I said afterwards to the guys ‘thank you’,” he said. “I am really proud of the boys. They stayed calm and the most important thing was to stick to the game plan as the game had not started for us.

“At half-time I told the boys to make sure we finished the job. It was hectic at the end but we deserved to win.

“The more difficult it was the more the players stuck together. It was a great win because of the way we managed the situation.”

Asprilla, the 20-year-old Colombia forward, showed great composure with the winning goal.

Norwich goalkeeper George Long parried a long-range effort from Wesley Hoedt and Asprilla latched on to the rebound, deftly rounded Long and slotted home a shot that crossed the line before Dimi Giannoulis could block.

It was Asprilla’s third goal of the season and Ismael is expecting more to follow.

“He is starting to get this breakthrough now,” he said. “We need to give him the confidence he needs and to support him. He can be a key player for us in the future.

“I am really pleased his goal decided the game. He has all the capability to score when he decides. He has everything to score a goal and is unpredictable.”

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