Norwich City’s Watford post-mortem starts with Alex Neil’s selection calls
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Norwich City's manager is not exempt from self-analysis as the Canaries look for the reasons behind their below-par Watford display.
Alex Neil replaced Nathan Redmond at the interval for the more direct threat of Dieumerci Mbokani in a clear recognition his starting line-up had failed to master Watford's forceful approach and the testing weather conditions at Vicarage Road.
'I'll have to assess did I pick the right starting line up. You could argue I didn't because we didn't win the game but more so I feel the players have to have a look at themselves,' he said. 'In hindsight, looking at the team and looking at the weather would I have changed it? Possibly. I felt we didn't have a presence in the first half, because Lewis (Grabban) is more of a player who will work the channels.'
Neil made his feelings clear to his squad on the final whistle after the 2-0 defeat and there will be more harsh words on Monday at Colney.
'To be honest I am not a big talker straight after the game. I don't see the point in ridiculing and shouting at them when there is nothing they can do about it,' he said. 'I have said a few words to them and let them know what they produced was not acceptable and the fact we will analyse it, go through it on Monday and hopefully try and improve on that. We need to have a look at ourselves and get back to our standards.
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'The one thing I would say is we have been performing well of late, certainly against the bigger teams we have turned up and done well.'
Republic of Ireland international Wes Hoolahan was a notable injury absentee at Watford with a knee problem. Neil is cautiously optimistic the Dubliner will be in contention for Everton's televised visit to Carrow Road this coming weekend.
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'We hope so,' he said. 'I didn't want to say anything too much pre-match to give the opposition an advantage. Hopefully he should be okay. It's a problem just behind the back of his knee he did it in the last game. We got it scanned and it didn't show up too well but we have had it assessed and it is looking more promising.'