By Gareth James
Sabri Lamouchi insists his Cardiff City team will “fight to the death” in their bid to avoid relegation after their brief revival perished at Norwich City.
The Bluebirds were brought back down to earth by a 2-0 defeat, which ended the momentum gained from back-to-back victories against Birmingham City and Reading.
The defeat leaves Cardiff still in 21st place, but with their four-point cushion above the relegation zone intact after all the clubs in the bottom three lost.
“You can see why we are the lowest scorers in the league because we need to take more of our chances,” said Lamouchi.
“But we will fight to the death to make sure there are at least three teams below us at the end of the season and the way we made it difficult for Norwich at the start of the game shows we have the quality to do that.
“We really disturbed Norwich in the first half an hour and I think we deserved to score first. We made a good start and created some good chances but unfortunately we didn’t take them.
“When you do that against a strong side like Norwich, who were in the Premier League last season, you are always likely to get punished.
“They could have scored more goals in the second half – but I thought we were very unlucky to be behind at half-time.”
Norwich’s boys from Brazil took centre stage as they kept their bid for the Championship play-offs firmly on track.
Gabriel Sara fired home in emphatic style just past the half-hour mark to put the home side in front and four minutes later Arsenal loanee Marquinhos marked his debut with another well-taken goal to effectively settle the game.
It was an impressive double from a Norwich side who had started the game slowly and they went on to record a comfortable win, their third in a row at Carrow Road after going seven games without a home victory.
Connor Wickham… Yay.
Here's the Cardiff team, still settling down under Sabri Lamouchi.#NCFC #EFL #NORCAR pic.twitter.com/GqYUCHFN5x
— Michael Bailey (@michaeljbailey) February 25, 2023
They are now in the thick of the battle for a top-six finish, while Cardiff are still hovering just above the drop zone after a first defeat in three.
Lamouchi added: “We lost our minds and give them two goals in only a few minutes.
“In the break, I needed to do something different. Change the striker and the team, because I believed that with one goal we have a chance to come back into the game.
“Unfortunately in the second half, we didn’t create a lot. But I have some regret.”
Norwich manager David Wagner said: “I was proud of the commitment and togetherness we showed in the opening 20-25 minutes because it was not easy for us.
“Football can be easy when everything is going well but when things are not going so well it can be very difficult. They had not played in midweek like us and I think that showed early on.
“Cardiff started very well and caused us a lot of problems but the players held their heads high and defended really well.
“Then we scored two good goals and from then on I thought we controlled the game and deserved to win in the end. It was a third straight win here and if we want to achieve anything this season we need to turn Carrow Road into a fortress so I am very pleased with the result.”