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Norwich City aim to set the record straight against Southampton

08:00 02 January 2016

Southampton were too good for Norwich City in a 3-0 Premier League win. 
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Southampton were too good for Norwich City in a 3-0 Premier League win. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

©Focus Images Limited www.focus-images.co.uk +447814 482222

Southampton’s visit to Carrow Road is a chance to prove how far Norwich City have come in the Premier League.

City’s 3-0 defeat on the south coast in August was Alex Neil’s first competitive away loss since taking charge. It was also one of the rare occasions when Norwich were second best in all departments on the Scot’s watch, even before Steven Whittaker’s first half red card.

“Thanks for reminding me,” was Neil’s response when pressed for his reflections on a day to forget. “Their two wide players played very well in the away game and we are mindful of that. Even before the red card they were the better side in the first 30 minutes, but saying that Cameron Jerome had a header six yards out before they scored.

“They started the season really well, but they have found it a bit more difficult of late, although the Arsenal result shows you their capabilities. We want to try and make sure we play as well as we can and limit them. If we play as well as we can there is no question we will have an opportunity to win the game.”

Ronald Koeman’s men looked set to be fighting it out again for European football when they brushed City aside but that festive 4-0 rout of title-challenging Arsenal is the Saints’ only top flight win in the last eight.

“It is the league. It is such a hard league,” said Neil. “I think they are quite direct but they have had to change their game up a little, which is posing them problems in the fact that (Graziano) Pelle is not available. They have Shane Long, who is a completely different style of player. The one thing they are is a powerful team, they have big, powerful, quick players and we are going to have to make sure we match that.”

Neil predicts a different test to the tense 2-0 win over struggling Aston Villa earlier this week and City’s starting line-up is likely to reflect the change in emphasis.

“We haven’t been afraid to make changes,” he said. “Jonny (Howson) had played the majority of the games, there is probably only two he hadn’t started, and he comes back in and gets us the crucial goal.

“Against Villa I felt we needed to control the ball and the game didn’t necessarily pan out that way, but that was my thought process beforehand.

“We were at home and we wanted to dictate the game and someone like Graham Dorrans is as good a link as we have got in the squad between defence and midfield and making those passes into forward areas to get our threatening players on the ball.

“The problem is we have players who are suited to certain games and not maybe others. We have guys who are technically very good and others who are athletically very good. We haven’t got a range of players who are a combination of both, so we need to mix and match when we play certain teams. It is trying to get people like Jonny in the team and Wes (Hoolahan), who is firing on all cylinders at home, and how we complement each other. It is not easy to get as many good players in.”

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7 comments

  • Southampton at home. Brings back memories of one of the most exciting, but ultimately disappointing, games I've ever seen. My 11th birthday, my dad (who hates football) took me to the Carra to see us take on the Saints. 1 up, then 3-1 up, then 4-3 up...then lose 5-4...Sutton got 2 and Goss scored a wonderful header. I remember feeling like Ulathorne was deliberately throwing the game. He scored one own goal, shortly after almost scoring an own goal which was brilliantly saved by Gunn. I think Dowie put the rebound on to the post with the goal open. Then he gave away a penalty at 3-2. Which Letissier calmly put away. Absolute nightmare. Went to pizza one pancakes two (anyone remember that?) after the game as a birthday treat and I remember barely being able to eat. Much older (and fatter) now so rarely out off food by a Norwich defeat these days. I won't be able to watch today's game (I usually watch all on TV out here in Cayman) - I'm doing a jet ski tour around Grand Cayman today with some mates. But I'll be checking in on the score on my phone when possible. Good luck lads, please don't put me off my food again!!!

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    PutneyCanary

    Saturday, January 2, 2016

  • Halfway point and bang on target to survival with 20pts. Overall, we have played more of the tough sides(on paper a way) away, so we have some v tough home games this year. Man c, Man U, Spurs, Chelsea, Lpool all still to come here, so it just emphasises Kent's point about doing better v the 'middling' sides, starting today. W Ham and Watford are the only others in that category. No problem with ANs 'horses for courses' approach, and we go into 2016 in much better shape than looked likely 2 weeks ago. If we can keep Mane quiet today, we should do OK. OTBC.

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    Alan Black's Back

    Saturday, January 2, 2016

  • Really looking forwards to this one - and hoping that City take all Three Points ! Last two games (Spurs & Villa) the TV coverage has been so bad they were unwatchable - so hope we have better signal today. BTW - If Sunderland beat Villa today they are as good as down - back in the second tier for the first time since 1988 - how good will that be ? Other results 'could' put us above the Baggies and draw up to just a point behind Southampton - however, let us get 3 Points first, then we can look at the PL table. OTBC

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    Dubai Canary

    Saturday, January 2, 2016

  • It is interesting that a win for us today will see us within one point of Southampton and would drag them into the relegation 'mix'. Very important game for us and we must do better at home against the middle ranking teams in the PL. One point from the four games against Leicester (were mid-table when we played them), Stoke, WBA and Crystal Palace was a poor return. Cannot make the game today but will be looking in.

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    Kent Anglian

    Saturday, January 2, 2016

  • I rather think O'Neil is a tidier option than Dorrans for linking the play? My team: Rudd; Martin (or possibly Wisdom for greater pace?), Bennett, Bassong, Olsson; Tettey, O'Neil; Howson, Hoolahan, Brady: Mbokani.

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    Reg Breeze

    Saturday, January 2, 2016

  • Yet again I like AN's comments. Soton always bring a fair few and as Wobbly says the discount will mean they will probably fill their allocation. I still have horrible memories of the FA Cup QF replay yonks ago when Flecky got mullered and they ended up with nine men. A much different side today and they like to play football - really looking forward to it. COYY!

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    el dingo

    Saturday, January 2, 2016

  • Was at the Saints game in August and it was a shocker which a few pints at The Guide Dog before the game did little to improve. Let's hope we put things right today and ease ourselves further away from the drop zone. Saints have discounted their tickets with their fans are paying half our price so they should bring a decent following. Come on you Yellows!

    Report this comment

    Wobbly Jnr

    Saturday, January 2, 2016

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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