Alex Neil lays it on the line to his Norwich City players

Norwich manager Alex Neil questioned his side's hunger in a 2-1 Championship defeat to Brentford. Pi

Norwich manager Alex Neil questioned his side's hunger in a 2-1 Championship defeat to Brentford. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Alex Neil warned it was time to stop living off Norwich City's Premier League past if the Canaries harbour genuine ambitions of a top flight return this season.

Neil accused his players of a lack of hunger following Brentford's 2-1 Championship win in a promotion shoot-out at Carrow Road.

The Bees moved six points clear of seventh-placed Norwich after a merited away victory in Neil's first defeat since replacing Neil Adams.

'It's not a confidence issue for me. It is people constantly telling them how good they are and how they are Premier League players and how the club should be in that league,' he said. 'We're not, we're in the Championship.

'A lot seem to talk and live off the fact that they played in the Premier League, or many of them did. It doesn't matter what you have done then, it is what you do now.

'The bottom line is they are not in the Premier League, they are in the Championship, so the quicker they get used to that and the quicker they accept it then we can hopefully turn it around and pull them further up the table.

'Now, if you want to get back there it is going to take a lot of hard work and a lot of effort.

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'If you are not as hungry, if you are not willing to fight as much as the opposition then you will always find it tough.

'I think if you looked at Brentford they had that graft and effort and determination. As a group we were found wanting in that respect.

'That is the bare minimum I expect but more importantly it is the bare minimum they should expect themselves.'