Alex Neil insists holding back Cameron Jerome and Nathan Redmond was the right call in Norwich City’s opener
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Alex Neil insisted it was the right call not to unleash Cameron Jerome and Nathan Redmond from the start against Crystal Palace.
Both made a telling impact in the second half of City's 3-1 Premier League defeat, with Redmond rifling a low shot past Alex McCarthy before Jerome's close range bicycle kick finish was controversially disallowed for dangerous play.
'The only reason Cameron wasn't in contention (for a start) is because he missed four pre-season matches,' said Neil. 'He didn't play at all on tour, he missed West Ham through injury and then I was preparing Lewis (Grabban) in the Brentford friendly. He just hadn't enough game-time in his legs. Nathan was a difficult call but I just felt leading upto the game he didn't look ready to start as much as some others.
'The fact he came back later in the summer than most of the lads as well was a factor but I thought he added to us when he came on the pitch. We didn't have enough runners off the ball in the first half so we tried to add that, but goals change games.'
Palace were able to leave the likes of Patrick Bamford, Connor Wickham and Yannick Bolaise on the bench but Neil is not envious of such resources.
'No, because my boys acquitted themselves well,' he said. 'I think if that goal stands when Cameron scores then we have a different conversation.
'Their squad is their squad and my squad is my squad and I'm comfortable with my squad. We just need to make sure we're more clinical at times and limit them even more than we did here.
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'It is just about decision-making. Within the game I was happy with 95pc of what they did but those wee lapses in concentration get punished at this level.
'I don't think there is a huge gulf in terms of the actual football at this level with the Championship, but the clinical aspect is different.'