Alex Neil reveals his top priority at Norwich City
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Alex Neil's top priority is erasing the Carrow Road fear factor ahead of facing Championship promotion rivals Brentford this weekend.
City were cruising against Cardiff in Neil's first home game in charge until the Bluebirds' second half salvo ratcheted up the tension in the stadium before clinching a 3-2 win and the 33-year-old admits it could undermine the Canaries' Premier League ambitions.
'That is the first time I have seen it because against Bournemouth, funnily enough, we came up against it with 10 men and showed the resilience and defending for your life that you need to protect your box,' he said. 'The atmosphere was great in the first half especially, when the players are buzzing about and the crowd are feeding off that, but I can understand now the tension that creeps in, particularly at home, that has probably been an issue perhaps this season.
'I could sense that in the players when we conceded thefirst goal so that is something I need to try and quickly eradicate and make sure we are doing the right things, certainly when we are leading a match.
'If you look at it some of the poorer results have been at home where you are dominating and the opposition pick you off at the other end. We need to get rid of that fear factor because in those second-half spells we didn't seem to have that resilience which was disappointing.'
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Neil insists the answer lies on the training fields at Colney rather than Carrow Road.
'We can work on that and make it better and make sure we are nice and compact,' he said. 'Certainly when you are leading the game there is no need for us to be as open as we were. In terms of starting positions, if we are attacking down one side we have to make sure we are set-up at the back, because I know we have been hurt on the counter-attack this season.
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'It's about making sure we are in the right areas if the ball breaks out so we are picking it up in a good part of the pitch to launch a sustained attack.'