Confidence is not at rock-bottom, insists Norwich City boss Alex Neil

Norwich City boss Alex Neil insists fragile confidence can be repaired. Picture by Paul Chesterton/F

Norwich City boss Alex Neil insists fragile confidence can be repaired. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Alex Neil dismisses any notion the fates are conspiring against him at Norwich City.

The Scot has lost his last four Championship games, capped by Martin Olsson's bizarre red card in Saturday's 2-1 defeat at QPR, and been knocked out of the EFL Cup since clinching September's manager-of-the-month award.

City head to a resurgent Derby County this weekend, but Neil is adamant both he and his fragile squad can still stop the rot.

'I wouldn't say it feels like the world is against you but when you are a on a bad run perhaps key decisions go against you and similarly on a good run they go for you and things fall into your lap and you get a rub of the green you might need,' he said.

'I don't agree confidence is at rock bottom. When you are on a difficult run and something goes against you in a game or you concede a goal it is the response you get from that point which dictates whether the confidence is low or not and whether you can deal with knockbacks and difficult decisions.

'Perhaps when we conceded (at QPR) some of the boys, I think, felt 'here we go again' whereas if we get the first goal confidence grows and we go on and we are fine within the game.'

City's defensive weakness was exposed again at Loftus Road.

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'We put ourselves in a situation after 30 seconds where we make it extremely difficult,' he said.

'Right away, I am thinking, 'this is going to be a really tough one to win from this position,' because all you want to do as a manager is keep 11 on the pitch, try to play well and you give yourself an opportunity to win.

'What you are looking for is disciplined players who will carry out their tasks and not concede a sloppy or an easy goal.

'The opposition need to work for it, or do something a little bit special to open you up and then hopefully as the game wears on you can hit them on the counter and maybe pick them off when they become too expansive.

'Once you concede that first goal that becomes more difficult because they are then in control.'