LEE CLARK bemoaned the concession of three “very preventable” goals in 17 minutes but insisted Town have what it takes to win promotion from League I this season, saying: “In the 10 games left, we need to go for the jugular.”
Saturday’s 3-1 home loss at the hands of leaders Norwich, combined with a 1-0 win for Swindon at Brighton, leaves the Galpharm side one place but five points off the play-off zone.
And both Colchester, in fifth, and Swindon, in sixth, have a game in hand on Town, who have yet to defeat any of the sides above them in the table.
Neal Trotman’s second-minute goal and a storming first-half performance raised hopes that Norwich could be toppled on Saturday.
But the Canaries ended the unbeaten home league record of Clark’s side with goals from Grant Holt (69th minute) and Stephen Elliott (74th and 85th).
“I told the players we ended up losing a game I would have been disappointed to get a draw from,” said former Norwich assistant manager Clark, who will today assess the condition of striker Lee Novak, who has a knee injury.
“The bottom line is everyone in the side has to accept their defensive duties and do them better.
“In this game the players didn’t do that and it cost us. Their three goals were very preventable.
“We took the lead, created lots and lots of opportunities and played some quality football.
“But we then switched off and nobody in the team can afford to do that, because the top sides will pick you off.
“Norwich pounced on our mistakes and showed why they are top of the league.”
Clark, whose side go to Leyton Orient on Saturday, added: “We can take huge positives from certain aspects of this game, but massive negatives from other parts.
“Every time I pick a team, I need to have players willing to perform to the expectations of the club and the supporters.
“We need to stand up and be counted and in the 10 games which remain, go for the jugular and hopefully get what we want.”
Norwich’s delight was heightened by a 1-0 defeat for second-placed Leeds at Southampton.
Dan Harding’s 25th-minute goal left the Canaries seven points clear at the top.
Click below for a gallery of action shots from Saturday's match.Related content
Millwall went fourth by beating third-placed Charlton 4-0 in a London derby at The New Den.
Fifth-placed Colchester lost 2-1 at Carlisle.
Orient beat Walsall 2-0 with a double by Doncaster old boy Sean Thornton at Brisbane Road.