Norwich City must batten down the hatches for a bumpy Premier League ride
PUBLISHED: 08:54 26 January 2016 | UPDATED: 08:56 26 January 2016
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Alex Neil is warning his Norwich City players there is no time to lick their wounds with the Canaries now embroiled in a Premier League relegation scrap.
The City chief conceded his men face a fight to the finish after the epic 5-4 defeat to Liverpool made it three league defeats on the bounce and left them just two points above the bottom three.
“Yes. I think that’s been the case for a while now. We’ve been towards the bottom end of the table for the majority of the season so far and we’ve got to pick up wins,” said Neil. “You pick up home wins, you start looking above you. You don’t pick up home wins, you start looking below you. It’s as simple as that.
“Nobody would be talking about lifting spirits if we had maintained what we did for the first 60-odd minutes (against Liverpool). That’s just the fine lines at this level. What we’ve got to do is get that 65-minute performance for 90 minutes and then we’ll all be fine.
“It’s not a psychological problem. If I tell you to do something and you keep doing it and all of a sudden you decide not to do it, it is not psychological, you just didn’t do it properly.
“It’s fundamentals that we’re doing wrong. How do you stop somebody giving a short back pass? How do you stop somebody maybe not tracking a runner? It’s difficult. It’s not something that’s new to them, it’s just basically doing those simple tasks well within a game and making the right decisions at the right times.”
Neil admitted Norwich’s weekend collapse against the Reds had clear parallels with their 6-2 defeat at Newcastle earlier in the campaign.
“That was a to and fro game as well, but I felt we had more control in this game,” he said. “For it to happen so late when everything’s fine, basically, is just bizarre. I think it’s probably the one that will stand out in my head at this moment in my career.
“Of course you analyse it. We’ll be going through the goals and discussing them. That’s the only way to try to improve from your mistakes. But we’ve been doing it all season. They’re basic, simple goals. It’s not as if it’s anything special or somebody’s dribbled past three, four players and put one in the top corner. It’s basics, tuck yourself round, defend your box, win your header, match your runner. It really is that simple.”