Alex Neil’s half-time team talk ensures Norwich City will be ready for opener at Blackburn

Wes Hoolahan of Norwich City celebrates scoring his side's second goal to make the scoreline 2-3 wit

Wes Hoolahan of Norwich City celebrates scoring his side's second goal to make the scoreline 2-3 with Graham Dorrans of Norwich City during the pre-season match between Norwich City and Hannover 96 at Carrow Road, Norwich. Picture by Richard Blaxall/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Richard Blaxall/Focus Images Ltd

An early reminder of the standards expected by manager Alex Neil has ensured Norwich City's players are ready for the start of the Championship season.

Experienced midfielder Graham Dorrans admits Neil made it clear he was unhappy with a sloppy start which saw the Canaries 2-0 down to Hannover in their final pre-season friendly.

The 29-year-old was a key part of a much-improved performance after the break, which eventually finished in a 3-2 defeat at Carrow Road.

'It was a good test for us but we're disappointed with how the first 45 minutes went,' Dorrans admitted.

'We never started very well, we didn't play to our usual standards and I think that showed. Everyone's seen that and we've found ourselves two goals down.


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'But the gaffer gave us a bit of a talking to at half-time, we came out and performed much better in the second half and we competed more.

'He said after the game, better that happen today than next week. Hopefully that's a lesson for us going into next week that we can't start games like that and we need to start the way we started the second half. Hopefully we can take that into next week.'

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However the former West Brom man insists the City squad is already fully motivated, continuing: 'The boys have been like that ever since we've got back. Obviously last season was a disappointment so we just want the season to start and put the wrongs right from last season and hopefully go straight back up.'

Dorrans was introduced in just the 19th minute of the friendly, replacing Jacob Murphy as Neil shored up a right-hand side which was looking shaky, with Jonny Howson moving out wide.

The Scot then had to come off himself in the 85th minute with a groin strain – but is confident he will be fit for Saturday's Championship opener at Blackburn, adding: 'I just felt it tighten up a little bit so I'll see the physios over the next couple of days and hopefully it's okay.'

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