Alex Neil is a relieved man after Norwich City’s 2-1 Championship win over Wigan Athletic
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Alex Neil insisted Norwich City's bottle is never in doubt after grinding out a nervy 2-1 Championship win against Wigan Athletic on Tuesday night at Carrow Road.
Jacob Murphy's early double looked set to put the Canaries on course for an emphatic victory but Jordi Gomez's second-half strike set up a tense finale.
'It wasn't a sigh of relief at the end because if anyone deserved to win it was us but at the end I was thinking, 'I am glad that is over,'' said Neil. 'We needed to show our professionalism and we didn't do that as well as we can do at the end but what we did do was show a lot of heart and courage.
'I said to the boys we must target six points at the start of the week, we did that but there is still room for improvement and I am getting lads fitter all the time.'
City did suffer two fresh injury concerns with Alex Tettey and Ivo Pinto both withdrawn at the break.
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'Alex felt his hip in the warm up but wanted to get through it. We don't know the extent of the damage on either yet,' said Neil. 'Alex was making signals throughout the first half to the bench, but he managed to get to half-time. Ivo (Pinto) over-stretched going for the ball and everyone inside the ground could see that. He has damaged his groin. He wanted to play on but if he did he could be out for six weeks and that would be a disaster for us.
'I had Graham Dorrans, Alex Pritchard, Russell Martin and Youssouf Mulumbu all playing at the end and they are lads who have not had many minutes. Martin Olsson was just back as well and was starting to cramp. I thought Wes (Hoolahan) was giving the ball away too often. They were fatigued as the game wore on and that was a catalyst for them to be on top.'
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Latics' boss Gary Caldwell refused to blame his keeper Adam Bogdan, who was embarrassingly robbed by Murphy to concede a third minute opener after failing to control a back pass from Jake Buxton.
'The first goal I take responsibility for,' he said. 'I ask the lads to play like that and you are going to make mistakes at times and we got punished heavily for it but the mentality we showed to dominate the game and take it to a Premier League sized club, I was proud of them.'