Norwich City boss Alex Neil rues second-half surrender at Fulham

Graham Dorrans scored two first-half penalties for Norwich City at Fulham. Picture by Paul Chesterto

Graham Dorrans scored two first-half penalties for Norwich City at Fulham. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Alex Neil admitted Norwich City's bid for a first win at Fulham since 1986 was wrecked by 15-minutes of madness.

The Canaries led 2-0 at half-time through a penalty brace from Graham Dorrans, but former City starlet Chris Martin's goalbound shot brushed Martin Olsson and finally team-mate Stefan Johansen, who was later credited with the final touch. Martin himself then completed the comeback from close-range in a ferocious second-half assault from the Cottagers.

'Am I angry with them? They are angry with themselves because they know how much it means,' said the disappointed City chief. 'It is not a case of me being angry with them. We are all frustrated because at 2-0 up against anyone, especially away from home, you should see it out.

'At half-time I told them not to sit back, to get up and press them as high as we could and get after the ball because we got some joy at that before the break. That is what we wanted to do. We didn't get to the ball as quickly as we needed to. We didn't win our 50:50 battles and we didn't shut off lines and it cost us.

'I thought we started well for the first five minutes after the interval but we didn't play away from pressure. We didn't put the ball in the right areas. We didn't retain the ball up the top end of the pitch as well as we did in the first-half and basically we lost concentration for 15 minutes in the game and didn't defend well enough to absorb the pressure we were under.

'The strange thing is once we conceded the second goal we clicked into gear again and looked a lot more threatening.'

Norwich dropped to second in the Championship after Newcastle's 2-0 win at Barnsley on Tuesday night.

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'In about 10 or 15 games it might feel like a good point but right now it is two dropped,' said Neil. 'I think we knew Fulham would want to keep possession, they move the ball well. I thought the first-half we frustrated them and we deserved to be leading 2-0. We managed to get them playing in front of us most of the time. Really frustrating, we didn't change our tactics, Fulham didn't change theirs either but we just didn't carry it out how had been doing for that 15-minute period.'