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‘Don’t let your standards drop’ warns Norwich City boss Alex Neil

Alex Neil wants no repeat of Norwich City's sluggish outing against Leicester City when they head to Newcastle. 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Alex Neil wants no repeat of Norwich City's sluggish outing against Leicester City when they head to Newcastle. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

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Alex Neil is warning his Norwich City players not to let their standards drop again ahead of a televised Premier League trip to Newcastle.

The Canaries head north looking to bounce back from a lacklustre home defeat to Leicester prior to the international break.

“At this level you need seven or eight of your players playing well. I don’t think we had that,” said Neil. “That is what cost us. At West Ham, in the last away game, we had players playing at the top of their level. If you have too many of your players not playing as well as they can that is obviously going to cause you a real issue.

“It is such fine margins at this level. There have been a couple of games when I feel we have deserved to win and we haven’t and that four or five points could put you potentially in a very different scenario.

“We need to get as many points on the board as we can and these next two in particular are going to be very big for us. Of the ten we have played in both competitions we have probably played well in eight, which is a great ratio for us, and we will look to improve on that.

“My job is to find a way for us to influence games and I felt we did that in the second half against Leicester. It was just a little bit too late. If I had changed the formation in the first half and we end up losing then I would be thinking to myself, ‘Why did I do that when it worked so well at West Ham?’”

City host West Brom after Sunday’s trip to St James’ Park and Neil knows how important the Canaries’ support can be.

“Fans feed off how well the team is doing. If we are doing well, playing well and picking up points they will be relatively happy and they will back the team,” he said. “If that wasn’t the case there would be that wee bit of edginess.

“I go back to Cardiff in my first home game in charge, we were 3-0 up, we were incredible in the first 45 minutes and they scored and you could sense an anxiety in the crowd. We were still comfortable in the game but there was a twitchiness which crept into our play. You could feel it coming from the stands but I believe we have managed to eradicate most of that because there is a confidence in what we are doing, from players and fans.”

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