Alex Neil upset at Norwich City’s woeful defending for Ipswich Town’s equaliser in 1-1 Championship derby draw

Norwich manager Alex Neil was left to rue sloppy defending that gifted Ipswich a point in the 1-1 Ch

Norwich manager Alex Neil was left to rue sloppy defending that gifted Ipswich a point in the 1-1 Championship draw at Portman Road. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Frustrated Alex Neil pointed to the self-inflicted blow that cost Norwich City a Championship derby win against Ipswich in a 1-1 Portman Road draw on Sunday.

Cameron Jerome had put the visitors in front after a ferocious start from the Blues but City appeared to be in control until first-half stoppage time when Jonas Knudsen smashed home an equaliser after Norwich were caught napping at a throw-in.

'It is a rubbish goal for us to concede,' said Neil. 'We have a corner in the 44th minute and I turn around to the rest of the bench and say this is a great chance for us to get the second goal and then within about 45 seconds they go up and score from a throw-in we are not set-up for. To be fair the left-back comes in on his right and it is a good finish into the bottom corner but Wes (Hoolahan) tries a pass and gives it away sloppily. Really frustrated with that.

'It changed things for us at half-time because if we are winning 1-0 I am happy and want more of the same. I was disappointed how we coped with the first 20 minutes, particularly the newer lads, because I am trying to prepare them and tell them what is coming. Until you are out there and experience it for yourself it is a different matter. We didn't win a header in the first six or seven balls. (Daryl) Murphy won all the headers and we didn't pick up enough second balls and that allowed Ipswich to build some momentum.'

Neil admitted Norwich were a fitful attacking force.


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'I don't think we did enough to win it if I am being honest,' he said. 'Probably we had the best chances in the game but I didn't think our play deserved to go on and win it but we had the best chances in terms of one cleared off the line, off hit the post and Jacob Murphy went through at the end. We didn't move the ball as quickly as we should have. We didn't play it in behind their midfield and defence quickly enough. We needed to be better on the ball so we didn't create enough.'

Town counterpart Mick McCarthy was in no doubt the hosts had shaded the derby, with Jonathan Douglas having an early goal disallowed for offside.

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'It wasn't just a scrap, there was a bit of quality in it from both teams,' he said. 'I think we were the better side. It was a really good performance and we were solid for the main part. We just let our guard down after 20-odd minutes and they get in, but they've got a lot of quality in their team.

'I'm really pleased with the performance because a week ago I was sat in the press conference angry and annoyed about that second half at Brentford. We were more resolute and tough at Wolves in midweek though and it was the same today.

'I can't really comment, because I haven't seen it again, but I've just spoken to the lads at Sky and they said there's some suggestion that it may be onside. As usual, I said 'make your mind up – either it's onside or offside'. I live in a fairly black and white world me.

'They told me it was onside so, if that be the case, then I'll be battering PGMOL's (Professional Game Match Officials' Board) door down Monday morning with a tirade of 'hey, any chance of us getting a decision?' I'll be doing that tonight on the answer machine actually.

'We've had two in a week (after Daryl Murphy's header was controversially chalked off at Wolves) so we're owed a little bit. Maybe we'll get the decisions back over the course of the season. Let's hope so.'

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