Neil Adams urges Norwich City to have the courage of their convictions after Liverpool Premier League loss

Norwich manager Neil Adams is looking forward to testing himself against Chelsea's Jose Mourinho. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd Norwich manager Neil Adams is looking forward to testing himself against Chelsea's Jose Mourinho. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Monday, April 21, 2014
7:00 AM

Neil Adams has urged his Norwich City players to have the courage of their convictions over the Premier League run-in after paying a heavy price for a slack first half in a 3-2 defeat to title pretenders Liverpool.

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Raheem Sterling and Luis Suarez struck inside the opening 12 minutes of a breathless start to proceedings at Carrow Road, which prompted Adams to deliver some home truths at the interval.

Gary Hooper and Robert Snodgrass replied in a far more proactive second period but Sterling’s solo strike after capitalising on Bradley Johnson’s square pass kept Adams’ side firmly in the mire.

“I was delighted with the second-half response. I felt it was a phenomenal performance because with the two early goals we were looking at potentially a heavy defeat,” he said.

“Everybody looks at those first 12 minutes and you are 2-0 down to the team at the top of the table and we have all seen how they have ripped teams apart and gone on and won five, six, seven. I’m sure the majority were expecting the same thing. At 2-0 the world and his dog thinks it is going to end up 5-0, but Brendan Rodgers has said to me afterwards what a second-half performance the side produced.”

Adams was at a loss to explain Norwich’s sluggish play in the early exchanges.

“I pride myself on organisation and I just felt we needed to be more decisive and on the front foot,” he said. “You can’t give them half an inch or they will punish you. That is why they are top of the league with top class players. I thought tactically we were fine. We made one change during the game but basically the game plan was there how we could get at Liverpool. We didn’t get close enough in the tackles, we were a bit shy in our passing and just generally off the pace. We weren’t quite at it and when you play these type of teams it is bang, bang and you can be 2-0 down. A lot of teams could have crumbled then.”

Adams made his feelings known during the break.

“We had to shake them up at half-time. It was key,” he said. “I had to say a few things and sometimes as a manager that is your job. Sometimes you have to get the players going. We had to do that at half-time. There were a few strong words and it got the response we wanted and to a man in the second half they showed some fantastic effort.

“We know we are better and I had to tell them that. I have been in changing rooms myself as a player when a blast is needed and that is what I felt was the right thing to do.

“We gave Liverpool a couple of opportunities and they took them. At that stage you are battling against it and you are right up against it. We talked about belief and conviction and I was absolutely delighted. I don’t think we were good enough in the first half.

“We were 2-0 down to a top side and while we weren’t awful, we needed to be better. You don’t want Liverpool to run all over you but from the first whistle in the second half we were at it. We caused them all sorts of problems. We scored two goals, we could have scored more and we were desperately unlucky with their third goal with the deflection.”

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11 comments

  • Pick a fight with you Stew. I am not that Stewpid. Agree Adams should be given a chance to prove himself beyond the tough set of games he's been left with. Will that happen? Have my doubts.

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    Lincs Canary

    Monday, April 21, 2014

  • .....Linc's!....you know very well what I meant!...hope you are not trying to pick a fight!....Suarez is the exception,but I believe our lads are individually as good as Flanagan and Allen and the rest...Our squad have been fed on a diet of defend at all costs...under that nice man ..what's his name again?...and Neil Adams biggest headache is to change that mindset!....I have faith in him to do just that and become one of Norwich City's better managers!.....

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    Stew Pydsodd

    Monday, April 21, 2014

  • I believe some were sent home early yesterday for good reason. But please check with Archie.

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    el dingo

    Monday, April 21, 2014

  • Forgive me StewP, perhaps I have misread. Our squad is as good as Liverpool's with one exception? Whoever that exception is must be one hell of a player when you look at our respective points and goals tally.

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    Lincs Canary

    Monday, April 21, 2014

  • Johnson cost us two goals. I would love to see the back of him in the summer whether we stay up or go down, he is nowhere near as good as he thinks.

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    jigs69

    Monday, April 21, 2014

  • Agree with all of the below. I thoroughly enjoyed being there yesterday for the first time in a long time. I d love NA to stay - maybe with a DoF?

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    el dingo

    Monday, April 21, 2014

  • …..I am not a big Snodgrass fan, but it seems that Neil Adams is....therefore Neil in the reshaping of your midfield might I suggest that he becomes the central pivot...make him Captain and get him to drive the others on!...Fer is too good to be left on the sidelines, and should become his permanent right hand man....Hoolahan ,Snodgrass, and Howson cannot play in the same side in any pairing,...they do not Gel...and Johnson should be told that a sideways pass MUST find it's man!....It was great to see both Redmond and Murphy given the chance to do what they do well!.....

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    Stew Pydsodd

    Monday, April 21, 2014

  • Spot on Stew, but at least NA did not attempt to defend a two nil defeat during the second half and this was the first game at home this season that I have actually wanted to stay to the final whistle just in case we managed a late goal. We probably are down but at least we can see a light at the end of the tunnel now and be optimistic for next season.

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    TrevorKeith

    Monday, April 21, 2014

  • .....The dust has settled....the position we are in remains the same...We all knew that we were unlikely to win points in the final 4 games!..so we must prepare for the worst!'...BUT! At long last there is a return of spirit amongst the boys!...That has to be good for the future...and...the future starts Now!....Liverpool did not have a team full of star players,and apart from one exception, our squad is as good! They do play as a TEAM and for each other...yesterday Neil Adams got us doing much the same!...but old habits die hard!...He still has a major task on his hands in sorting out that midfield of ours...giving them individual responsibilities, and of course making them work together as a unit!....more later!.....

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    Stew Pydsodd

    Monday, April 21, 2014

  • The fact we made a sluggish start was a cameo of what has been wrong all season. How can that happen when there is so much to play for? That is down to the players' collective psyche. At least, unlike under Hughton, Adams tore in to the players at half time, changed the tactics and we played better. Pity 45 minutes had been wasted before we even competed. Any morsels of hope as we head for Man U and Chelsea? Well, we are still not bottom 3 and neither of those teams look like needing the points. Maybe they can be more sluggish than us. And good luck Neil, you will need it with the hand the board dealt you.

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    Lincs Canary

    Monday, April 21, 2014

  • The team did dig in and won the second half, really putting the Champions elect under a lot of pressure. It is clear that the return of half-time hair-driers has had a positive effect but we still have the habit of standing off and letting the opposition dictate the play. It is going to take some time to undo the damage that has been done.

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    Swiss Canary

    Monday, April 21, 2014

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