Norwich City ‘masters of their own downfall’ admits Alex Neil after Leeds EFL Cup exit
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Alex Neil insisted Norwich City were 'masters of their own downfall' after suffering an EFL Cup penalty shoot-out defeat on Tuesday night at Leeds.
Norwich led twice but were pegged back after extra-time and then Alex Pritchard, Steven Naismith and Robbie Brady failed to convert from the spot as the Whites won 3-2 on penalties to seal a quarter-final place after the game finished 2-2 following 120 minutes.
'I am gutted for them. I thought they deserved better even though we were makers of our own downfall,' said Neil. 'I would like to think I am really honest about the way my team performs and I think I criticise them when they don't perform. I can't do that here. I thought we had a lot of good performances and deserved more than what happened. We made two incredible errors, defensively, that cost us the game.
'We have defended leads in the past, we did it in the Championship the last time we were here but at crucial times we are making errors. Sometimes you get away with them but we are getting punished. It is not a hard luck story, it is about doing the right things and concentrating. Because we were in control for long periods they switched off.'
City even had a man advantage in extra-time after Leeds suffered an injury, having made all three substitutions.
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'The extra man worked for us in that first 15 minutes of extra-time when we scored. They couldn't get near us. For whatever reason our use of the ball thereafter wasn't good,' said Neil. 'I thought we dominated the ball and the game. There was a 15 minute spell when we were not on top and then it ends up in penalties. We have enough technical quality to put them away but you can't re-create that pressure.
'We needed to win the match before that point, we should have won the match beforehand. Louis Thompson had a really good game. I thought Alex Pritchard was lively on the left-hand side, Nelson Oliveira and Steven Naismith, Ryan Bennett was also good.'
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