Norwich City is not a Championship soft touch
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Alex Neil rejects any myth Norwich City is soft touches in the Championship.
The Canaries' chief has crunched the numbers after conceding twice from set plays in the midweek 2-2 draw at Wigan.
Omar Bogle scored from a corner and whipped home a free kick in a theme which has been repeated on numerous occasions this season, but Neil insists they can deal with the aerial threat.
'We do work on set plays all the time but I can understand why people are asking me about it,' he said. 'I wouldn't say we just hit balls into the box all the time or corner after corner but we work on trigger movements and particular corners for each opponent, depending on their strengths and weaknesses. Defensively the appetite to pick up and mark and go and win headers is important. That is why I have added size and stature to the team. There is no question set plays are crucial in the Championship and Mitchell Dijks gets us that equaliser at Wigan. Without that it might not have been the case.
'It is interesting because I have done a lot of looking at this since the Cardiff game (last weekend). I made a statement that perhaps was not entirely true about us and set plays so I have checked and our record, in terms of scoring from set plays, is seventh in the league; that is not the best but by no means the worst.
'Defensively we are 10th in a league of 24 teams. For people to suggest we are down the bottom of that table or that we are rubbish and hopeless at defending set pieces is not actually the case, based on the statistics.'
Neil's side look to continue their promotion push against Nottingham Forest and the City boss admitted yesterday he was a relieved man to miss out on the latest manager-of-the-month award. Neil's September honour triggered a prolonged downturn, but Reading's Jaap Stam is the latest recipient.
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'If we were going to respond the way we did after the last time I won it then I am certainly glad to have avoided winning it,' he said. 'I didn't know anything about it, if I am honest. I was sat there and saw it pop up on Sky. I don't pay any attention to that stuff.
'The boys are in a good place at the moment. We have certainly turned the tide in terms of results and performances have been better.'