It’s one that got away for City boss

Alex Neil admitted Norwich City let struggling Bristol City off the hook in last night’s 1-1 Championship stalemate at Ashton Gate.

The Canaries missed a number of excellent chances before the interval to add to Yanic Wildschut’s first goal for the club. City paid for that profligacy when Bailey Wright punished fresh slackness at a defensive set-piece to deny Neil’s men a first win in five.

“Certainly away from home there is no doubt we have a lack of confidence. When teams bang it from back to front we seem to struggle with it,” said Neil. “I felt we should have had the game done by half-time. Steven Naismith should score when he has a one-on-on. Yanic had a good chance at the back post. We got ourselves into really good areas at times and maybe the final pass or decision was lacking. I think it would have been finished if it had gone 2-0. When you are struggling like they are it is difficult to turn that around. We didn’t get the goal and it proved a different second-half. We dealt with that direct threat in the first-half but they changed the system about three times.

“They threw a lad on who is about 6ft 6in and went two up top and were feeding off scraps. The goal we do concede is not even a header, the lad puts it in waist-high from the corner. We dropped deeper and deeper. We needed to be braver but we lost a couple of headers. We worried a bit, tried to drop in and cover and that gives the other team a boost.”

Neil made four changes from the weekend’s 5-1 mauling at Sheffield Wednesday, with Michael McGovern producing a string of key stops.

“Michael made three or four very good saves. I thought it was a good performance for him,” said Neil.

“I could have made more but having watched Bristol I knew they were going to be direct, they were going to be in your face and really make it a physical game. With the lads I have available those were the best three in the middle of the park and I put pace in the wide areas to try and hurt them which worked in the first-half.

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“I had to sacrifice Josh at the end for Seb (Bassong) because we needed our best headers and there was number of balls going into the box. If it was a football game when it was technical I would have brought someone like Alex Pritchard on.”