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Norwich City’s Alex Neil insists it is not ‘advantage Bournemouth’ in Premier League survival stakes

PUBLISHED: 07:15 18 January 2016 | UPDATED: 08:32 18 January 2016

Norwich manager Alex Neil does not see any longer term damage from losing to Eddie Howe's Bournemouth. 
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich manager Alex Neil does not see any longer term damage from losing to Eddie Howe's Bournemouth. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

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Alex Neil dismissed any notion Bournemouth may have struck a psychological blow in the survival battle after a 3-0 Premier League win over Norwich City.

Neil accepted his side were a long way short of what was required with Dan Gosling, Charlie Daniels and former Norwich transfer target Benik Afobe on target to inflict a sobering defeat. Eddie Howe’s side moved a point clear of the Canaries, but Neil is cautioning there will be plenty of sub-plots over the run-in.

“I don’t read anything into them getting a psychological advantage now they are a point above us. There wasn’t any when we were above them,” he said. “The bottom line is this was a game to pick up three points and distance ourselves from teams at the lower end of the table. We didn’t do that. They climb above us but there are plenty of games left. That is us and Bournemouth done now for the season so what will determine it from here is who does it between the other teams, and we are certainly going to have perform better than here.”

Neil was left hugely frustrated by City’s tame offering, but insisted it was not on a par with previous lows at Newcastle or Watford.

“No, I wouldn’t put it in that bracket. I felt in spells we did okay,” he said. “The Watford game, we didn’t perform at all and Newcastle was rare, it was divided in the sense we attacked well, we just didn’t defend well that day.

“It is football. Players, at times, don’t perform as well as they can. That is the joys of being a manager. You put the team out with the same information and you get one performance and a couple of weeks later you get a completely different performance. We are really frustrated and disappointed but we cannot over-react to one performance. The next game will determine if this is a blip or not.

“It is difficult to put your finger In terms of selection, it has been relatively consistent over the last five or six games. We had to make a change with Gary (O’Neil) but they have been playing well.”

Neil shared Howe’s sentiments life could have been even tougher for Norwich at the Vitality Stadium if Declan Rudd had been dismissed for a late knee-high challenge on Afobe.

“It could possibly have been a red card, I have seen them given in the past,” he said. “There was also a penalty shout before that but I was too far away from the incident. If I am being honest, decisions didn’t matter in this game.

“If you don’t have seven or eight guys competing and moving the ball well enough you are not going to win. The simple fact is we had too many under-par. I haven’t got any complaints about the game, but certainly plenty about one team.”

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  • Agree with everything said so far. G_F_U, Machianalli once said that relegation would be "worse than death" or similar. Surely he doesn't want to d!e again? Been watching too many old James Bond fillums. The team has just just strung 3 demoralising performances together at a time when the likes of Newcastle and Sunderland are showing signs of recovery and Bournemouth look positive. Reports of Aston Villa's demise may be premature (unlikely, but you never know). I hope Alex is not exhausted by his efforts to date and can get us over the line. Our best hopes of the glittering prize of 17th place lie with Swansea, Villa and (*******). Watch this space. @BogazJ - we need a strong Captain!! 16 games to go.. 4 wins and a few draws needed. Drawing all 16 would probably suffice.

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • I wrote on PU Match Coverage that " was this really the team which beat Man U away 3 weeks earlier?" Like AN says he sends the same team out with instructions which they either take on board or don't. If you look at the stats from Saturday Bournemouth ran 80kms and we barely 70kms which says it all. And which player in the PL has run the most this season? Andrew Surman! Why did we let him go? Mardler was right by the way Grabban wasn't ill!!

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    Bogaz John

    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • Despite my optimistic stance, I would put this up there with Watford and Newcastle - yeah we didn't turn up but at Carra we played them off the park. 3-0 on the back of Stoke is pitiful. And AN looked exhausted in the post-match interview. As someone rightly pointed out - disillusioned. It's a psychological blow in that they're team we shouldn't be losing 3-0 to, they're not Spurs or Man City. If this is the calibre of players we have showing up then we need to get relegated and have a complete jettison from top to bottom.

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    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • It's not that we have given Bournemouth a psychological advantage, we've given everyone this by showing our capacity for not turning up. Who is really going to fear Norwich now? Bournemouth didn't do it to us, we did it to ourselves.

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    Surrey Canary

    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • Of course Alex Neil is right we are not really at a disadvantage to Bournemouth because our Manager is supremely honest and planning for the long term.! My view is we have been the victim of a bit of smart thinking ie following acquisition of Surman, track Norwich target Afobe, use financial muscle, and lean on easily influenced Grabban. Norwich are outsmarted! I could have acted the part of the sick man better than Grabban who was only following the path of a 'gentleman's agreement' not to play in that match. However overall this is a long distance race!

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    Monday, January 18, 2016

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

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