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Norwich City boss Alex Neil is his own harshest critic

06:45 16 February 2016

Norwich City boss Alex Neil knows his decisions are heavily scrutinised. 
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City boss Alex Neil knows his decisions are heavily scrutinised. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

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

Alex Neil insists he is his own harshest critic as strives to guide Norwich City to Premier League safety.

The Scot was subjected to fresh scrutiny after the Canaries blew a two-goal lead in a 2-2 draw against West Ham at Carrow Road.

City did move out of the relegation zone on goal difference after ending a run of five straight league defeats, coupled with favourable results elsewhere, but Neil knows there is little margin for error over the run-in.

“When you don’t win everything is called into question. I always call myself into question,” he said. “People were questioning me even when we were winning games, they perhaps wanted us to play a different way or with different players. My job is to make the decision I feel is right and we were successful last season on the back of that.

“Certainly I will ask myself could I have made a change earlier when we were 2-0 up, but in hindsight, looking at it over the course of the season, we have tried to sit back and protect leads and then it becomes nervous and we have conceded. Sometimes you are damned if you do or damned if you don’t.

“I wanted us to keep on going and by doing that we could have conceded a third but Seb Bassong has a chance five yards out right at the death in the final kick and didn’t make the right contact.”

Neil and his squad are in the Middle East this week for warm weather training and the City boss accepts every decision he makes over the home stretch could have massive implications.

“If you are in the Premier League and you are seen as one of the lower teams then there is that pressure to stay in the league,” he said. “But if you are Norwich in the Championship then you are expected to win games so that pressure is there all the time.”

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38 comments

  • I am happy to see Alex acknowledge that he maybe could have made changes a bit earlier, against Liverpool and West Ham. Hopefully he will have learned his lesson that a 2 goal lead is a rare thing in this league and he needs to come to matches prepared for more situations and outcomes as the match unfolds. Sometimes I think the kind of adviser he needs is an analytical thinker like Rafa Benitez, to compliment his gut instinct approach. On the bright side from where I was sitting at the West Ham match, in the city stand close to the pitch by the snake pit, some of the quick intricate passing interchanges between Hoolahan, Brady and Naismith on the edge of the box were a wonder to behold... what we are lacking is the Messi, Aguerro, Sanchez, Vardy or Kane to make that well timed run into the box to finish off the move with a goal.

    Report this comment

    jops

    Wednesday, February 17, 2016

  • @dingo; Nosferatu. Was that the Béla Ferenk Blasko (aka Lugosi) version or did that come later? We get treated to a defensive horror show most games. (Token on-topic).

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, February 17, 2016

  • In response to Idreamingreenandyellow, NCFC used up 3 precious squad places at the start of the season on strikers we have barely played. Since the beginning of October we have averaged only 1 goal per game scored. We have chopped and changed the defence with regularity. Now we are to be focussed on attacking football perhaps we should have a more stable selection in defence whilst interchanging the attacking members of the squad to ensure that they challenge each other to perform as much as possible.

    Report this comment

    essex canary

    Tuesday, February 16, 2016

  • Trev, you'll be lucky. The fact is all of these internet football streams are technically illegal, and if any of us start naming names on here, Archie's legal boys will be deleting them quicker than a rat up a drainpipe.

    Report this comment

    Rick

    Tuesday, February 16, 2016

  • Stew, the wonders of television certain do allow those lucky enough to be able to watch the game a chance to see the significant parts of play rerun instantly. However, the camera can often miss the overall strategy of the game at times as it tends to pan in on the ball rather than the movement of the rest of the team. There is little doubt that there is room and benefit from both sides, unfortunately I have never managed to find a website that enables me to watch our away games, perhaps you can send me a link so that I too can enjoy watching away games rather than simply listening to radio partridge. One thing is for sure, they often see the game totally differently to me when I am at the ground. As I am also one of those well over the 6 foot mark, seeing the game is never a problem to me, especially as I sit relatively near the back of the stand. I think one or two of our coaches should spend time sitting away from the touch line as you see things that you otherwise miss by being down at the touchline.

    Report this comment

    TrevorKeith

    Tuesday, February 16, 2016

  • Shouldn't have mentioned the silents really. Amazed no-one made a Keystone Kops reference about our back four. My gran had a load of old super 8 stuff plus there was that regular Bob Monkhouse programme way back when. Actually my all-time fave film is the 1922 Nosferatu. The black and white one, not the coloured up one later. Too off-topic so I'm off.

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Tuesday, February 16, 2016

  • @cutty:- Wot about yer antirrhinums? Was Fagen fibbing?? I'm not being, like nosy... Btw; another thing Stevie Fry mentioned was "sanctimonious righteousness" or maybe "righteous sanctimoniousness". Either way, IDIYAG, you have made a point.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, February 16, 2016

  • I have to take issue with anyone suggesting that AN is acting out of jealousy with his team selections. Like all of us, he wants NCFC to be successful. To that end he will select what he feels is the best starting 11 for each game. It seems strange that the longer a player remains on the sidelines, the better he becomes in some people's minds. Lafferty has done extremely well for his national side but you simply cannot compare these types of games with those in the premiership.

    Report this comment

    idreaminyellowandgreen

    Tuesday, February 16, 2016

  • Ah Brew, the silent movies would have been my thing. Theda yapping away in Yiddish, me replying in Norfulk, I could have written the subtitles and made it seem like a perfect match. Alas the only remaining Snapdragon resides in the Castle but I use a yellow and green replica which I use at the Costessey Gyle to trample on those decry our beloved team. We also have lashings of custard, but that's another story.

    Report this comment

    cutty

    Tuesday, February 16, 2016

  • On an EDP thread, I've commented that Stevie Fry has, indeed, done less than SFA for NCFC. But his wit and erudition are wonders to behold. He maybe didn't really fit in the Swaffham subculture. In LA he'll be a round peg in a round hole. Or...

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, February 16, 2016

  • Yeah, NCFC will really miss Stephen Fry. Ha Ha Ha.

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Tuesday, February 16, 2016

  • IFL Stevie Fry. In the aftermath of his BAFTA jests he has gotten away from Twitter. His phrases "slab-faced dictators of tone and humour".. and.. "trolls and nasties" are apt.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, February 16, 2016

  • . . . . and SO one of the reasons why Stephen Fry stepped down is out of the bag. Oh well, I guess he'll still promote us over in the US. Maybe another tour will be on the cards. Gotta use those ✈ Air ✈Miles ‛¯¯٭٭¯¯(▫▫)¯¯٭٭¯¯’

    Report this comment

    Ole Tommy Buster Custard

    Tuesday, February 16, 2016

  • Theda Bara; The Jewish Princess. Born in 1885, she was cutty's Lolita. It was the intention that cutty should star opposite Theda in the 1916 production of "Romeo & Juliet" but the film's backers decreed that the ole boi was too old. This effectively brought to and end cutty's promising film career and he retired in relative obscurity to run a snapdragon sanctuary in Strumpshaw.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, February 16, 2016

  • Abu Dhabi was chosen because of its climatic similarity to Scroby Sands. Plus, a bit of beach running will tone up those flaccid leg muscles. Maybe we'll see some real tracking back vs Leicester. The juxtaposition, on this board, of cutty's elegant, flowing prose and those crude hieroglyphics is wondrous to behold. Arise, The Bard of Brundall. Btw; an insider tells me that Abu Dhabi was preferred to Scroby only because of the latter's prohibitively high Hotel tariffs. Even Lenny Henry can't afford to stay there.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, February 16, 2016

  • Posters that keep referring to Alex Neil as the wee man and axle are neither funny or clever. For me this completely invalidate your posts. Give the guy some respect.

    Report this comment

    lordbesty

    Tuesday, February 16, 2016

  • Alex...re your final paragraph; I've got some uncomfortable news for you . It matters not whether you are Norwich City, Man City, Ipswich Town or Accrington Stanley, or what position you are in in whatever division . The fans will always be your fiercest critics and the pressure will always be on. Every season. Of course at times they will be in a forgiving mood. Errors happen, but what will not be tolerated is when the team keeps on making the same mistakes over and over again. And, whisper it quietly..... the same applies to any manager who is seen to be making the wrong calls re tactics and selections over and over again.

    Report this comment

    Rick

    Tuesday, February 16, 2016

  • We have all been banging on for weeks on here about the repeated stupidity of AN continually picking Bassong and Martin, if his completely blind loyalty to this pair continues for the forthcoming game against Leicester we will get mullered by the pace of Vardy and Mahrez and Huth will have Mbokani in his back pocket all game ...I fear the worst after the capitulation against West Ham when having got ourselves well in front, all we needed to do was park two banks of four for 20 mins and yet we were wide open for the entirety of those closing stages. I just struggle as to why AN doesn't see what is going wrong and do something about it. I was once told that the definition of stupidity is repeatedly doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome .... sound familiar?

    Report this comment

    Lucioperca

    Tuesday, February 16, 2016

  • …..Trevor!...My daughter and son-in-law had the priviledge of sitting in the N&P stand and watching the game as it happened!….by the wonders of modern technology they were able to telephone me and ask about the two West Ham goals scored at the Barclay End….which they were unable to see….mainly because they were too distant form the action, and the fact that some 6ft+ guy directly in front of them couldn't keep seated, and jumped up and down like a 'jack in the box',as he saw fit!….Having seen the live action and repeats, I was able to bring them up to date with the relevant information they required!...They in turn were able to relay this to others sitting close!…..Waclor! ..Waiting in the wings may be the answer to your question1.....

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Tuesday, February 16, 2016

  • Can anyone remember a team where there was a rift between the manager and the best centreback at the time so that manager refused to select him? Can anyone remember the outcome that season? What is that manager doing now I wonder?

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Tuesday, February 16, 2016

  • My biggest criticism of Ales Neil is the inconsistency between his hat size and shoe size. He is obviously a legend in his own opinion and appears to be acting vindictively against Kyle Lafferty and Ryan Bennett. If he does not rate Lafferty, why not let him go to Leeds on loan. Instead he is doing his level best to wreck the lad's chances of playing in the Euros. Why a vertically and tonsorially challenged, unattractive ex footballer who reached his peak with Barnsley and Mansfield Town, should be jealous of a tall international striker who appears to have considerable success with Scottish beauty queens, is hard to see. If a player has passion for the team he will react to being dropped. We assume that Ryan Bennett is being frozen out because of that but who on earth would want players in the squad who prefer not to be playing?

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Tuesday, February 16, 2016

  • Dingo, I think Theda would know how to handle any careless passes.

    Report this comment

    cutty

    Tuesday, February 16, 2016

  • One thing is for sure, media coverage, especially television, has given us all the opportunity to re-watch goals such that we can then either reconfirm or change the views we held whilst watching the match live. Then we are able to share our comments with mostly other supporters who read sites such as this, so without doubt the life of managers and players is under the spotlight like never before. However, they are now paid far more that those that preceded them and it is their choice as to if they want to take those highly paid jobs on. Some can handle the pressure whereas others cannot. Thus far, AN appears to be one that can deal with the critics and long may it continue as that is the only way we are going to succeed this season.

    Report this comment

    TrevorKeith

    Tuesday, February 16, 2016

  • Is Ryan Bennett travelling? He needs time to work with Klose.

    Report this comment

    Surrey Canary

    Tuesday, February 16, 2016

  • …..Have no fear Axle!….You have your faithful band of admirers (mmm! Nice!)….There is no need to look back, and wonder what you should or could have done!….Too late for that now!….Many of those that watch Norwich City live on TV and the Internet and have better viewing positions than you have standing on the sidelines... have continually tried to pass their observations on to you ….Try sitting in the stands next to David and give the players a break from your constant arm waving, and face pulling, and you may learn a thing or two!...Chrissie made a habit of sucking on his bottle!...that didn't work either!….Anyway enjoy your hard earned holiday in the sunshine, and make sure those 'effendi' keep you and the boys well supplied with Tyneside Tea and Ice cold custard!…..

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Tuesday, February 16, 2016

  • Aw Cutty, what wonderful prose, you're luring us into the world of Rudolph Valentino and Theda Bara. Who could both fight it out for the right back spot with Russ and Pinto I guess.

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Tuesday, February 16, 2016

  • If you are a ‘harsh critic’ of AlexNeil you are pretty empty minded. This is a man who, miraculously, scraped promotion via the play-offs and is somehow keeping our heads above water in the Premiership. Of course, like any young professional, he is weighing up his decision making. He has the right to have support from his ‘elders and betters’ as he does so. Get that? Support ….

    Report this comment

    Dark Moon

    Tuesday, February 16, 2016

  • £150 a night? Sounds like a steal to me, I'm off to the travel shop. Those crimson dawns, followed by azure blue skies, cool breezes drifting in from the sea, and the myriad of twinkling stars in the clear night empyrean. A fitting place for our heroes.

    Report this comment

    cutty

    Tuesday, February 16, 2016

  • I, like many others would like to know why Lafferty and Bennett are not playing and are not even on the bench. We haven't seen Lafferty play for months so if it is his form why not say so. Bennett has played until a few weeks ago and to my eye played well, apart from, perhaps, the headed own goal so it can't really be his form. Is he injured or is it a personal matter he is dealing with?

    Report this comment

    PerthCanary

    Tuesday, February 16, 2016

  • Shame he doesn't listen to the critics then. Board have missed a trick here a new manager could have taken the Abu Dhabi trip!

    Report this comment

    Cyprus Canary

    Tuesday, February 16, 2016

  • He is right to self critical,as some of our problems are down to his decisions. Playing Brady out of position and persisting with Martin.Not giving our best option for scoring goals - Hooper- a chance. Sticking with one up front when none of our strikers are quite up to the standard needed to do this -good players that they are. His job is to motivate,improve concentration and application and then not select players who can't respond.At this level most players are very good technically;it is all the others skills which can make the difference between success and failure.

    Report this comment

    Diss man

    Tuesday, February 16, 2016

  • . . . . . . . . oh, and for those not in the know where the players currently are, they're living the high life up in one of Abu Dhabi's finest hotels, the Yas Viceroy, at I'd say around £150 a night at the very least, but I guess you'd want an evening meal with that too. You know the hotel, the one on the Yas Marina Formula 1 circuit. Money well spent IMHO (ღˇ◡ˇ)♥ℒᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤ♥ ᗪIᔕᙅᙀᔕᔕ !

    Report this comment

    Ole Tommy Buster Custard

    Tuesday, February 16, 2016

  • I struggle with some of Tommy speak on Android. This one's easy enough though.

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Tuesday, February 16, 2016

  • OK, we're back to the doom and gloom of being in the best league in the world. Poor little ole Norwich only outside the relegation zone. Keep it up Alex, I will keep the faith. Brightside will not leave me. INIT

    Report this comment

    Ole Tommy Buster Custard

    Tuesday, February 16, 2016

  • Deluded if he thinks he is the harshest critic of Norwich's performances. Thought that was me. I wonder if he thinks that he is doing a successful job? Just surviving in the Premiership would have been a failure during the summer break in the post promotional glow. Different story now, it will be seen as a miracle if we stay up.

    Report this comment

    kenfoggo

    Tuesday, February 16, 2016

  • ⋆⋆⃟⊱✪⃝⃞⃝⊰⋆⃟⋆ . . . . . and what did Ole Tommy tell you yesterday "ᗪᗩᗰᑎᕮᗪ Iᖴ YOᑌ ᗪO, ᗪᗩᗰᑎᕮᗪ Iᖴ YOᑌ ᗪOᑎ'T". It's almost like I know the next days headlines . . . . . . . . .ᴵˑᴺˑᴵˑᵀˑ (Hope you can read it Lincs )⋆⋆⃟⊱✪⃝⃞⃝⊰⋆⃟⋆

    Report this comment

    Ole Tommy Buster Custard

    Tuesday, February 16, 2016

  • well ...what you gonna do about yourself ?

    Report this comment

    dis dressed

    Tuesday, February 16, 2016

  • Believe me wee man, you are not your harshest critic by a country mile, just read these posts.

    Report this comment

    Quitefrank

    Tuesday, February 16, 2016

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

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