Boss Daniel Farke believe Norwich need a miracle to retain their top-flight status after their already slim survival hopes were dealt a further blow in a 1-0 home defeat to Everton.
The Canaries went into the game six points adrift of safety and needing a win to boost their chances of staying up, but Michael Keane’s header gave the visitors all three points.
“We’re disappointed with the result. I think today a loss is not a fair outcome of the game,” said Farke.
“We were solid, spirited. We looked pretty sharp in the first half. We were the better side with good chances. We deserved more at half time.
“In the second half, one set-piece was the difference. It was a disciplined, spirited performance full of desire. We are disappointed with the result but not with the performance. We tried everything today and more.”
The four changes made by Farke helped to frustrate Everton in the first half as the visitors were kept at bay, but Keane’s nodded goal at the start of the second half was enough for Carlo Ancelotti’s men.
Farke said before the restart that Norwich would need a miracle to stay up and after a second defeat, he said: “(We need) even a bit bigger miracle. After each time we lose the situation is not easier.
“We are not naive. We can judge this in a proper way. We are in two competitions, the FA Cup and the league. It’s not realistic for us to stay in this league, it’s not realistic for us to stay in the FA Cup, but as long as we have a chance, we try to be successful in both competitions.”
Everton manager Ancelotti was full of praise for his side after their win and second successive clean sheet.
Speaking after the match, the Italian said: “I think that I am pleased of course, happy. It was not easy to prepare this game.
“I knew that it was difficult, that we didn’t have the energy that we had against Liverpool. It’s really difficult in this period to prepare games every three days.
“We were a little bit slow in the first half, the second half was much better.”
The Toffees have now secured clean sheets in two successive matches and kept their narrow hopes of European football alive, as Ancelotti remains positive.
Ancelotti insisted Europe was still the main target, saying: “I think we need to have a goal, we need to have motivation.
“This is a fantastic achievement, to be able to reach it will be difficult. The teams above us are not so far but we need to run fast.”