Alex Neil brands Norwich City’s 5-1 Championship capitulation at Sheffield Wednesday ‘unacceptable’
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Alex Neil admitted he deserves all the flak flying from disgruntled Norwich City fans after a sorry 5-1 Championship defeat at Sheffield Wednesday.
Neil apologised to the travelling support after watching the Canaries crushed at Hillsborough to slip nine points behind the sixth-placed Owls.
'It is unacceptable,' he said. 'Without a doubt. All I can really do is apologise to the fans who travelled up here in good number again. To put that type of display on in such an important game for both clubs is…I'll be honest, I can't understand or describe how it got to that point. We have lost the game to a ridiculous scoreline for a squad of our quality. Listen, quality and talent only get you so far. If you don't have the guts and determination and all the other bits that our priceless, particularly away from home, the rest of it doesn't matter.
'I have shown these lads a lot of faith because I try to put what I feel is my best players on the pitch. At times this season we have come up short so we have let the fans down. I have let the fans down, so too the players and I can imagine they are not happy. Rightly so, there is going to be a lot of criticism coming our way.
'How do I sum that up? Disappointment, frustration. We understood the gravity of the game but ultimately we didn't handle it. That was the story of the match. We gifted them two goals and then we started to play but if you give a team like Sheffield Wednesday two goals you are never going to get anywhere. We didn't do any of the things we spoke about, in terms of being nice and composed and moving the ball. We needed to play with energy and intensity and we lacked all of that.
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'Obviously we have had a few poor results this year so the shouting and bawling of days gone by wears off. There has been some honest words spoken. It was a big game and you hope our big players stand up to it. They didn't. We looked timid and waiting on something to happen. The lads are disappointed. They know they should have done better.'
City's woeful lack of defensive responsibility was heavily punished with Jordan Rhodes grabbing a brace and Ross Wallace, Morgan Fox and Fernando Forestieri all on target. Cameron Jerome replied in the first-half.
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'The first one is a mistake. We clear the ball into an area where Ross Wallace punishes us,' said Neil. 'That was our doing. The second one we lose the ball in the wide right position and don't defend our box well enough, the striker pulls off and we spoke about that all week and how he will look to get his header. The third one is basically man versus man marking in the box at a corner. The boy Morgan Fox is only in the penalty area because (Sam) Hutchinson has gone off. It is not even as if he is a big header of the ball.'