Alex Neil refuses to call time on Norwich City’s Championship promotion bid after Ipswich derby draw
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Alex Neil insists Norwich City will never give up on their Championship play-off bid after a frustrating 1-1 East Anglian derby draw against Ipswich Town.
City made it eight games unbeaten in the cross-border tussle, dating back to the Blues' last win in April 2009, but failed to cash in fully on slip ups for their promotion rivals.
Norwich stay eighth, six points behind Sheffield Wednesday, ahead of a vital trip to Hillsborough.
'You won't hear of any signs of us giving up,' said the City boss. 'Regardless of what happened in this game we had to go and beat Sheffield Wednesday. That remains the case. If we do that we bring it down to one game.
'We have a big one this coming week and if we win that then the gap goes to three points, which is one match so everything is up for grabs. If Sheffield Wednesday lose the one after and we win then we are level and that is only two games down the line.'
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Neil admitted Town punished his side for one lapse at Carrow Road, with wayward finishing and Bartosz Bialkowski's defiance denying them a priceless victory.
'If you don't punish teams when you are on top that is what can happen,' he said. 'The frustration from us is they score in a rare moment of attacking threat when if we keep it tight then Jacob (Murphy) goes up the other end and scores the winner.
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'There are certain games we have played well and not won this season. At Reading, away, I thought we were excellent for long spells and we lost. We were excellent at Brentford and we should have won that game. We are among the top scorers in the division so we do not have a problem scoring. It is just doing it at a crucial moment in a crucial game, but I am pretty sure most other teams could say the same.'
Murphy's ninth goal of his breakthrough season earned a point after Jonas Knudsen had escaped the youngster to head Ipswich in front.
'He showed character, he is a young man learning his trade who has been excellent for us this season,' said Neil. 'I don't know how many goals that is but he can be pleased with his afternoon. Yes, he has just switched off and the lad managed to get himself inside him. For a young man his response to go up the other end, shift his feet and get the goal is something I don't think you could ask any more of from him.'