Daniel Farke said Norwich were “unbelievably disappointed” after admitting losing to Brighton has all but ended their chances of Premier League survival.
After four defeats from four since football resumed, the Canaries needed a victory at home to the Seagulls, but lost due to Leandro Trossard’s 25th-minute strike.
Last season’s Sky Bet Championship winners had plenty of possession and yet struggled to create any clear-cut opportunities of note before substitute Adam Idah headed against the post deep in stoppage time.
The loss left Norwich rooted to the bottom and with only five games left, their time in the top-flight is almost over.
Farke said: “It’s a tough day for us and we are all disappointed because we knew it was more or less a last chance today to be back in the mix with a good result.
“We are not relegated, but we all knew it was our last chance and of course we are disappointed with the outcome.
“Also for the development of the many young players and the club, it is important to feel this pain.
“I want my players after the game to be devastated if the outcome is not there because it is important for them to have this and value the good moments. We are unbelievably disappointed, it’s a tough day.”
The Norwich team collapsed to the floor at full-time and Todd Cantwell did not leave the pitch for 10 minutes, but he was a surprise substitute along with top goalscorer Teemu Pukki for this must-win fixture.
Farke eventually introduced the pair with 23 minutes left and while they were unable to force an equaliser, the German defended his decision to put them on the bench.
“I am totally happy with Todd’s development and his performances during the season, but we also have to be realistic,” the 43-year-old added.
“It was a good game against Man United (in the FA Cup) for example and in the spotlight with the goal, but let’s be honest in the last 12 league games he has no goals or assists so it’s not like we can’t win a game without Todd Cantwell.
“To be honest it’s the same for Teemu Pukki. I always back him, but in the last (few) games it was not like he won the games all alone for us.”