Todd Cantwell admitted it was a case of mixed emotions in the immediate aftermath of Norwich City’s 2-1 defeat to Manchester United in the FA Cup quarter-finals.
City almost held on for a penalty shootout after Cantwell’s strike had forced extra-time. They were forced to play the additional 30 minutes with ten men after Timm Klose’s red card at the end of normal time, only for Harry Maguire to turn home late and see United into the semi-finals.
Speaking after the game, Cantwell said: “Everyone is gutted. To play very well like we have against a lot of the big teams this season, to concede so late after defending so well for the whole game, it’s crushing.
“Before the game, most people would have written us off. Obviously our first two games [of the restart] hadn’t been what we’d wanted.
“Man United were in top form and it really frustrates me because we’ve shown again today that we’re good enough to play against these teams.
“We went toe-to-toe with some great players out there. We created some good chances and that just makes it more devastating when you lose.”
Cantwell’s equaliser was sure to have sent City fans around the world crazy in their living rooms. The Dereham-born youngster was devastated that his goal meant little in the end.
“I was a little bit frustrated with how I came in against Southampton,” he continued. “You can be as fit as you like but there’s a ‘football fit’ as well and I don’t think I was at that point.
“Today, the manager showed his faith in me again and I’d like to say I’ve shown that faith back. It’s just disappointing scoring a goal that means so much personally and to have it taken away with three minutes to go is crushing.”
Looking ahead, Cantwell says it’s important City take positives from the display into their final seven Premier League games.
“We have to tie in all our focus on Arsenal now. I genuinely believe if we play like we did today, we’ll give them a right good game.
“It’s really important to get results and points now. It’s getting to crunch time. Notoriously this team will stick together and fight and hopefully we can pull it out in the last couple of games.”