Alex Neil pleased to silence the doubters after Norwich City’s record-equalling Sunderland win
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Alex Neil derived more pleasure from silencing the doubters than equalling a Norwich City away record after a 3-1 triumph at Sunderland ignited the Canaries' Premier League season.
City's Wearside victory extended Neil's own unblemished start on the road at Norwich and matched a 12-game unbeaten league streak for the club set in 1986 - which does not include the play-off final win over Middlesbrough last season that catapulted Neil's squad into the big time.
'The players should be really proud of that because they are the guys who go and do the business on the pitch,' he said. 'We were hurting after the Crystal Palace game because we didn't think we got what we deserved. I told the players before this one just go out and show how good you are and I am delighted they did that because when you lose the first game people start to question the group and to question me.
'I think it was crucial because if you back up another good performance without any points to show for it then you start to question if we are good enough. I think we proved, both in the result and the performance, we are more than good enough to hold our own at this level.
'We will gain a lot of confidence from these three points. I thought we played with no fear and that is the impressive thing.'
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Nathan Redmond sealed the win in the north-east with yet another goal – his fifth in the midfielder's last six club outings.
'Nathan always had the quality, he has all the quality in the world, but it is just a case of trying to get him in the right positions to showcase his talent,' said Neil.
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'We have worked a lot on his starting position, in terms of his spots on the pitch and making sure when the opposition have the ball we can find him in good pockets to try and hurt them.
'That end product and quality has always been there but it just a case of getting him in those right areas at the right time so he can make a difference.'
Redmond's goal rush has no bearing on Neil's hunt for fresh firepower in the market ahead of the closing fortnight of the transfer window.
The Scot, however, was clearly annoyed his comments on the eve of City's Wearside win regarding the difficulties of attracting top talent had been misconstrued.
'At the moment there is nothing more to say but to be honest I don't want to say too much transfer-wise because all of a sudden I am saying no-one wants to come to Norwich and that we lack ambition,' he said.
'That is not true. We're trying to do business behind the scenes but I won't be saying much now until it actually happens.'