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Interviews

Christoph Zimmermann: Our first-half showing cost us

4 December 2019

Christoph Zimmermann bemoaned a poor first-half showing as the main reason behind Norwich City’s 2-1 defeat to Southampton.

City found themselves two goals down at the interval after they failed to defend a pair of Southampton set-pieces properly.

Daniel Farke shuffled his pack at half-time by introducing Marco Stiepermann and Alex Tettey and it gave his team fresh impetus as they equalised just after the hour mark through Teemu Pukki.

However, despite late pressure City were unable to find the equaliser.

When asked if the first-half cost the team, Zimmermann replied: “Yeah, for sure. Those two set plays, we just didn’t defend them well enough. I also think we’ve given away free kicks and corner kicks too easily.

“Of course, [James] Ward-Prowse has got a very, very good delivery and it’s difficult to defend all of them. But to concede two goals from two set pieces in one-half is just way too much at this level.

“It was too hard to come back.

“Normally, we should be able to build up the game better and we did that in the second-half. We were on the front foot and played with a bit more aggressiveness.

“We were a bit more reactive rather than inactive in the second-half but everything we did in the first-half, especially in the build-up, was just too slow.

On the changes at half-time, Zimmermann was pleased with the impact Stiepermann and Tettey had.

“We just tried to change the formation a little bit at half-time with Tetts holding again and Stiepi a bit higher in the midfield.

“We were hoping to surprise them a little bit and I think that worked because we played much better in the second-half.

“Stiepi got in good positions where he could make things happen and Tetts with his experience helped so much on the pitch.”

Zimmermann believes City’s second-half showing indicates that they don’t need to change things too much.

“It would have been better for the feeling and the confidence if we would have equalised in the game. It would have given us a boost.

“But the reaction in the second-half shows there is not much we need to change in comparison to the first-half, we just need to not give away set-plays so cheaply.”


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