Alex Neil urges his Norwich City players to have the courage of their convictions
06:45 18 January 2016
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Prove you want to be Premier League players, is the stark warning from Alex Neil after Norwich City’s 3-0 surrender at Bournemouth.
Neil questioned the lack of fight and courage from his men in a painful defeat on the south-coast.
“The one thing I would say is when it went to 2-0 we started to play a little bit but what I said to them afterwards is it’s easy to do it a 2-0. It takes courage to do it at 0-0. When you concede twice the game is pretty much slipping away at that stage, so it is easier to rally,” he said.
“If you are a Premier League player and you concede an early goal, and you are going to fold because of it, there are no excuses. We competed but they did it better than us on the day.
“They were the ones coming out with the ball in challenges, they were the ones winning those headers and too often we lost the 50, 50 challenges. That led to our downfall. Their players on the day were better.
“This is the same team that we beat comfortably at our place earlier in the season and this was roles reversed.”
Neil’s squad had a day less than Bournemouth to prepare and two gruelling back-to-back away trips in the space of three days, but the Scot insisted there could be no excuses.
Dan Gosling was left unmarked to open the scoring with a tenth minute header before Charlie Daniel slotted a second half penalty when Vadis Odjidja tugged back Marc Pugh. Former Norwich transfer target Benik Afobe then completed the rout with his first club for the Cherries.
“I wouldn’t accept excuses,” said Neil. “You have to give the opposition credit at times. I thought they were good but we were sadly lacking in too many areas. I thought our response to the first goal was poor. We were extremely disappointing up until half-time and then they nearly scored about 20 seconds after the restart. That is not the response we were looking for.”