Pilkington disappointed with 'sloppy' Norwich defending after Manchester City loss

The Canaries fell two goals behind to Roberto Mancini's team within five minutes on Saturday and eventually suffered a 4-3 defeat to the Edin Dzeko-inspired champions

Norwich City winger Anthony Pilkington was disappointed with the Canaries' "sloppy" defending in the 4-3 defeat to Manchester City on Saturday and believes that errors cost them at least a point at Carrow Road.

Chris Hughton's side came into the match on the back of a 1-0 home loss to Chelsea on Boxing Day and found themselves two goals down within five minutes against City, as Edin Dzeko hit back at his manager's pre-match comments regarding the poor form of his strikers.

A sending off for Samir Nasri and a Pilkington free kick gave Norwich a lifeline, but ultimately defensive errors cost the Canaries and the former Huddersfield winger was particularly disappointed as they slumped to their third successive Premier League defeat.

14/1 Norwich are 14/1 to be relegated with Bet365
Talking to reporters after the match, Pilkington said: "We are disappointed – I thought we had a chance there to get a point at least, if not all three. We started really poorly and then we had a mountain to climb.

"The sending off lifted us as well as the goal, but from our point of view we think we've conceded some sloppy goals that were avoidable so we are disappointed. But it does show how far the club has come because they were champions and last year they turned us over here.

"They started at one hell of a tempo and we started poorly, but it was a different game after that. It was them attack, we attack, especially in the second half. So it is a tough one for us because we are a bit disappointed.

"I don't know why we didn't start well. It's just one of those things. I think the last four or five games we have started really well and here we were caught out early.

"The goals we think are avoidable, most of them anyway. They are poor goals on our part and we'll probably look at that before we go into the game on Tuesday and look at tightening things up.

"We are disappointed with the goals we have conceded and not to come away from today with anything."

Pilkington felt that the tackle by Sebastien Bassong that provoked Nasri was fair, but also mischievously suggested that without the backing of a few team-mates, the midfielder would not have even thought about squaring up to the ex-Tottenham man.

"I think he had a few of his lads behind him but I'm sure he would have done it if he hadn't been on a football pitch," laughed Pilkington.

"I couldn't actually see it but I think Nasri has put his head into Seb's [Bassong] and the linesman has seen it, not the referee. I was concentrating on the tackle, but I didn't think it was a foul to be honest.

"I thought Seb won the ball and maybe lifted his leg up as he came through. But the surface was really wet out there and I think it all could have been avoided really."

With Grant Holt out injured, the captaincy and goal-scoring duties passed to an unlikely source in Russell Martin but the right-back, while pleased with his two-goal haul, was frustrated to not gain at least a point.

He said: "It's nice to score, really nice and especially at home, but it means nothing at the end of the day apart from you might get a little clip on Match of the Day or something like that.

"The second one I just stuck my leg out and it went in – I thought he was going to save it with his head at one point. Later on I said to Turns [Michael Turner] I'm going to get another one, but it didn't happen.

"I really enjoyed it apart from the defeat – it was some game to play in and it must have been a good game to watch, that's for sure."

He continued: "We have come away frustrated not to get something out of the game against the champions of the Premier League and the disappointment is the goals we have conceded, because you know the quality they possess. If you give them half a chance they will take it.

"Even though they have gone down to 10 men we shouldn't have conceded the goals we did, but we did and we were still fighting at the end, and I think we were unlucky to come away without anything in the end.

"But with the quality they have got you can't give them the chances we gave them."