Alex Neil admits Norwich City gifted Manchester City a routine FA Cup win
18:04 09 January 2016
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Alex Neil admitted Norwich City made it too easy for Manchester City to seal an FA Cup fourth round place after a 3-0 win at Carrow Road.
Sergio Aguero punished the Canaries with a superb individual strike before setting up Kelechi Iheanacho to double the Citizens’ lead prior to the interval. Kevin de Bruyne capped an emphatic win for Manuel Pellegrini’s star-studded squad.
“I think in terms of the result Manchester City deserved to win the game,” he said. “I was really disappointed with our retention of the ball in the first half and the silly decisions we made, poor passes and touches let us down. When you give good teams the ball back ultimately they are going to hurt you. The one thing I would say about the first goal is as good as the finish is from (Sergio) Aguero he has skipped past two and three of my players. We have got to make sure we stop that and we didn’t do well.
“Second half, we did a bit better, pushed on and put two up top but we got done at the back on the third. If I am being honest we will forget this game as of now because our bread and butter is the Premier League.”
John Ruddy was restored to the line up for his first game since November 29 and a well-publicised late night city centre incident which had been the subject of a club investigation that Neil has now declared closed.
“The investigation has been done. We have finished that,” said Neil. “It has been dealt with in-house, internally, and as far as I am concerned the matter is done. I am not going to say we want that behaviour in the future, obviously not. I don’t need to speak to the rest of the squad. It is not as if it’s a common theme. Everyone is fully aware that outside the club your behaviour reflects on Norwich City.”
Neil was inevitably asked about transfer business following the unveiling of Ivo Pinto in the last 24 hours. The Scot confirmed he had no interest in Lorient centre-back Lamine Kone, who was set for a £5m move to Premier League rivals Sunderland before that proposed deal collapsed earlier this week.
“No, I haven’t made a bid for him (Kone) and we won’t be doing so either,” said Neil, who also confirmed Leeds have not returned with a bid for Kyle Lafferty after City rejected the Whites’ request for a loan option. “We’re not interested in him.”
Neil also ruled out a late attempt to scupper Bournemouth’s bid for Wolves striker Benik Afobe after the Cherries confirmed a deal is in place for the striker who was the subject of three summer offers from the Canaries.
“No, not at the moment. It looks like he is going to Bournemouth,” said Neil. “I think you have to get to reasonable levels, in terms of fees, and we’ll look to strengthen the squad.”