Action not words needed for Alex Neil after Russell Martin’s apology following Norwich City’s 5-4 Liverpool loss
06:45 25 January 2016
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Talk is cheap for Alex Neil after revealing Russell Martin apologised to his Norwich City team mates for his back pass howler in a painful 5-4 Premier League defeat to Liverpool.
Neil insists it is time for action not words after Martin was swift to accept his mistake in the midst of second-half carnage at Carrow Road.
Gary O’Neil was similarly contrite following his red card at Stoke earlier this month, but that cuts little ice with a seething Neil.
“We’re past the stage of being disappointed and apologising for mistakes,” he said. “Just don’t make mistakes now and we’ll be fine.
That doesn’t just apply to Russell, it applies to the team. Russell will know that’s a really disappointing mistake from his point of view and he apologised to the players when he came in. Russell Martin can’t be used as a scapegoat for this defeat.
“We attack and we defend as a team. We turned a good performance into a shambles. When we concede five you deserve to lose the game. Simple as that. When we get to 3-1 up just see the game out. It is about being professional.
“After a result like that of course you have to look at making changes and to be fair a lot of them have come out of the team this season. Certainly after that, there’s no question there’ll be places up for grabs.”
Norwich appeared set for all three points against Jurgen Klopp’s side when Wes Hoolahan slotted a penalty to build on first-half goals from Dieumerci Mbokani and new boy Steven Naismith.
“The talk at half-time was now we are in control of the game, play clever and play smart,” said Neil. “There was no need for us to go gung-ho and then we go 3-1, even better, just play with our brains, and pretty much from the kick-off they get a goal and our decision-making thereafter is poor.”