Alex Neil demands calm heads during tough spell for Norwich City

Norwich Manager Alex Neil during the Barclays Premier League match at Carrow Road, Norwich. Picture

Norwich Manager Alex Neil during the Barclays Premier League match at Carrow Road, Norwich. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Moving on from the disappointment of another defeat quickly is the main message Alex Neil has delivered to his players.

Losing 1-0 to West Brom saw the Canaries booed off at Carrow Road, having slipped to a third defeat in five Premier League games on home turf.

The Scot has encouraged his squad to retain a balanced mindset through the ups and downs of the season already though and will reinforce that thinking this week.

'You've got games over the course of the season, any game whether you win, lose or draw, you've got the next game afterwards,' Neil said.

'So when you go home after you win a game, you're delighted for that night, the next day it's back to work.


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'When you've lost a game you're obviously gutted that night and then the next day, it's back to work.

'So it's like any other season or set of games that you're playing, you just need to dust yourselves down and get ready for the next one.'

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That next game is at Everton tomorrow in the fourth round of the Capital One Cup, ahead of a return to league action at Premier League big boys Manchester City on Saturday.

To bounce back to winning ways in either of those games will not come easily and the City boss knows that will not happen without improvements at either end of the pitch.

The Canaries were rampant in the early stages against the Baggies but didn't take their chances and were eventually hit by a sucker-punch just after half-time, having lost their way towards the end of the first half.

'I thought our intensity just dropped off a little as the half went on and I think to try and maintain that is difficult,' Neil continued.

'At this level when you're on top and you've got enough of the ball in good areas, it's about punishing teams when you get that.

'Ultimately we didn't do that and as the game wears on there's always a danger that they're then going to threaten at the other end.

'Start of the second half, a cross comes into our box and we don't defend it, they win the header and we concede the first goal.'

Following the 6-2 thrashing at Newcastle the previous week, Neil had opted to start Ryan Bennett in the league game for the first time this season and switched Russell Martin to right-back.

While Bennett put in a decent showing on his return, Martin looked shaky at times, and Neil knows his defence still needs work.

'Am I pleased? We lost the game 1-0 so I think that tells you the answer to that one,' the former Hamilton chief said. 'Ryan, I thought he did okay in the game, but ultimately we don't stop a cross coming in, we don't defend the cross.

'That doesn't boil down to Ryan or anybody else, it's as a group, as a unit, that they didn't deal with it.

'Russell Martin's played more games at right-back than he has at centre-back over his career so he should have no problems playing at right-back. I think if you're a top player and you're an international player who has played at right-back last year as well, so he's more than capable of doing it, so I would have no issues with that.

'We spoke about it and worked on it during the week, it's not as if I've just flung him in at the deep end.'

West Brom kept their sixth clean sheet in 10 games to hold on to the win but Neil is not intending to try and reproduce the style of play bringing some success for Tony Pulis' side.

'I think Tony's team, in terms of the way they play, and my team are completely different,' he added.

'I knew how Tony plays, I don't think I need to pick his brain to understand how he plays.'

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