Alex Neil wants Norwich City to be quick out of the blocks at Reading

Alex Neil has painful memories of Norwich Citys recent trip to his former club Barnsley. Picture: FO

Alex Neil has painful memories of Norwich Citys recent trip to his former club Barnsley. Picture: FOCUS IMAGES - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Alex Neil wants to see his Norwich City side make a fast start away at high-flying Reading today.

The Canaries fell behind in the first half of their recent 2-1 defeats to Huddersfield and Barnsley and Neil wants his players to come out of the yellow corner swinging in their Boxing Day clash.

'The fact is we didn't come out of the blocks as well as we should have done against Barnsley, made a couple of changes at half-time and that made a difference,' said the City boss.

'Wed didn't come out of the blocks against Huddersfield as well as we should have done, made a change at half-time, made a difference, but ultimately we need to start from the first whistle.

'Like in any league, if you're going to have to try and chase the game, one, you leave yourself vulnerable, and two, it allows them to hold on to something that they've already got so they fight tooth and nail to make sure they keep that lead.

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'The fact that we've only came back one time where we've had a goal against us, at Nottingham Forest, doesn't really make for good reading.'

Neil admits he has struggled to put his finger on exactly why City have started slowly in so many games recently though.

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'Football's such a strange game,' he continued. 'I've had teams which are really quiet in the changing room and then go out like absolute animals in the first half and you look and think, that was really the calm before the storm.

'And I've had other teams where they're really vocal, really focussed and then they go out and they don't turn up and they don't produce. I don't think there's something where you look and think we're going to be fine when we walk out of here because if you sensed that it wasn't going to be fine, you would do something about it before you got out.'

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