Alex Neil reveals the secret to Norwich City’s success

Lewis Grabban and Gary Hooper have responded to Alex Neil's urgings at Norwich City. Picture by Paul

Lewis Grabban and Gary Hooper have responded to Alex Neil's urgings at Norwich City. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Alex Neil is not a manager given to hyperbole but Norwich City's Championship masterclass in a 2-0 win over Wolves was the right answer to his stirring pre-match speech.

Neil revealed he repeated his public pledge this was a defining moment in the Canaries' season when he addressed his players, and they responded with a controlled display against their promotion rivals capped by goals from Bradley Johnson and Lewis Grabban.

'I said exactly the same thing to the players when I spoke to them just before the game. These are the games we will be judged on,' he said. 'That is no disrespect to Charlton or Blackpool but I think the fans here make sure you will be judged against the better teams and if you don't beat them then you are not very good. Thankfully for us we managed to beat a good Wolves side and thoroughly deserved it. I can't be any more proud of the players. I thought they were great.

'I think at Charlton, first half, we were fantastic but as a full 90 minutes against good calibre opposition it was probably as complete a performance as I have seen here in terms of how well we defended and getting that balance between attack and defence against a very good team, who I think had only lost one in 12 before coming here.'

Grabban and Gary Hooper set the tone for another collective shift rich in endeavour from the hosts.

'We worked from the front and I thought Lewis and Gary worked their socks off,' he said. 'They certainly have quality going forward. I have told them both they have so much quality if they can just give me everything they have in terms of work-rate and 100pc effort every game the rest will take care of itself. The ability is there and the two got their rewards.

'You saw that with the second. It was a fantastic goal and that was important for us in the game. Any team you play at this level is going to have a little spell where they will maybe pick up more second balls than you and have a bit more pressure on our goal.

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'I didn't think they had a great deal, if I am being honest, but the second goal sort of killed the game for them when having not played well they probably were looking at it and thinking they could nick something out of the match.'

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