Norwich City captain Alexander Tettey spoke of his sympathy for the club’s fans after Saturday’s 4-0 defeat to West Ham confirmed City’s relegation from the Premier League.
“We just have to say sorry,” he said. “We tried and we were not good enough. We’re very sorry for our fans because I know the Norwich fans are always behind the team regardless. It’s a tough day today, but from tomorrow we will look forward to getting better and trying to bounce back.
“It’s a shame we didn’t have our fans with us in the last seven games, because I personally feel like they could have given us that extra boost, that sense of it being important and them being behind you.
“The mindset coming into this game was positive but, once again, if we give away goals and are not strong enough when it comes to set-pieces, we get punished.
“From my point of view, we’ve been doing that a lot since the restart - staying in games and then conceding from a set-piece. The whole game changes and it becomes very difficult for us.
“I feel like we’re trying to play football, but they are more experienced and know what they’re doing. They took their chances from set-pieces and punished us when we made mistakes.
“It doesn’t matter who you play, if the quality of those you play is good enough they will punish your mistakes.
“We’ve had one centre half fit for most of the season, so it’s not like the manager has had a choice to mix it up.
“We’ve tried, but in the end you have to put your hands up and say we weren’t good enough. We have to accept it and keep working further.”
Three games remain for City at the end of the 2019-20 season, and Tettey says he and his young, disappointed teammates, will do all they can to be ready for the final matches
“We’re hurting that we didn’t manage our goal,” he said. “The young players are hurting, which is good to see, because it shows that they want to progress.
“When you get relegated, it’s a blow and an experience you take with you for life, not just football. They will learn from it. The young players have been giving the team a lot of energy because they are talented prospects.
“Today was one of those games we wanted to win. I’ve been saying we need to stop losing. With us being relegated, we lost the game 4-0 and no-one wants to do that as a team.
“We can’t go to Chelsea feeling sorry for ourselves. They’re a good team fighting for the Champions League, so it becomes embarrassing if you’re not up to the task. We need to pick ourselves up for them, Burnley and Man City.”