Alex Neil - Norwich City full value in 3-1 Championship win over Paul Lambert’s Wolves
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Alex Neil was adamant Norwich City got what they deserved in a 3-1 Championship victory over 10-man Wolves at Carrow Road.
Paul Lambert suffered a first defeat against his old club since leaving in 2012 in a game that hinged on Carl Ikeme's red card for a violent reaction to conceding a penalty against Wes Hoolahan.
Wolves' defender Matt Doherty had to face Robbie Brady's penalty, after Lambert's side had already made all three substitutions. Helder Costa slotted an earlier second-half penalty to cancel out Steven Naismith's first-half opener, but Jonny Howson sealed the victory in stoppage time to bounce back from last weekend's 2-1 league defeat at Rotherham.
'I think in our last couple of home games we have played really well,' said Neil. 'That is why the frustration was at Rotherham. We didn't start that game well, even before the sending-off. The fact Paul Lambert was a successful manager at Norwich, it was against Jez Moxey's old team and we desperately needed the three points made it a big game.
'Take all that into consideration I thought the players handled it well. We were dominant throughout the game and deserved to win. To be honest, we should have won it easier because we could have been two or three up at half-time.'
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Lambert refused to condem Ikeme after his red card reaction to conceding a penalty for felling Hoolahan.
'I've not had time to have a look back at it and I will do,' he said. 'I haven't asked Carl yet what he thought and I will wait until the emotion has died down. But he is a big character and a big player – he has been brilliant for us in the last few games. These things happen and I'm not going to sit here criticising the guy because he has been absolutely outstanding.
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'I thought we started slowly, the first time we have started like that for a long time. We huffed and puffed but didn't really get things going. The atmosphere could have gone either way but they got the goal. We were still in it and I knew at half time that if we could get the next goal the atmosphere could change and at 1-1 I felt we could go on and win it.
'It was anybody's game at that time. We came out for the second half the way we should have started the game and Helder scored a good penalty. And then their penalty changed the game. We got punished with Carl going off and the penalty so it was a double hit.'