Norwich need to put their house in order at Carrow Road

Brentford''s Alex Pritchard slots match-winning penalty past Norwich City keeper John Ruddy last ti

Brentford''s Alex Pritchard slots match-winning penalty past Norwich City keeper John Ruddy last time out at Carrow Road. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Alex Neil wants Norwich City to prove once and for all they can handle the expectation of performing at Carrow Road ahead of Blackpool's Championship visit.

The Canaries stuttered against promotion rivals Brentford last time out in front of their own fans to prolong an inconsistent home trend.

City have now picked up only two more points at Carrow Road this season compared to their away haul after the battling draw at Birmingham, but Neil is not reading anything into those headline figures.

'The players have to find a level that is acceptable and make sure we don't dip below. You are not always going to be at your best or having a good day, but there is an acceptable level,' he said.

'If you look at the season so far, let's be honest, if they played the way they did in the first half against Cardiff at home for the entire period I wouldn't be here.

'The issues we have had are the inconsistencies from one game to another. That is frustrating as a manager and probably as a player too from week to week.

'I don't think there is any issue between playing at home or away. We just played better (at Birmingham) than the previous week. I think the structure of the team was a lot better and the personnel I had available made that better.

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'I think leading up to (Brentford) we had won two games so you hesitate to change it, whereas 4-3-3 is a system I have used quite often and I thought it was effective in terms of how we were defensively.'

Neil made five changes for the trip to St Andrew's, including a recall for Seb Bassong, as he looks to find a winning formula.

'It is always good to have options, but it is difficult in a short space of time to know your best combinations,' he said. 'You want to give them opportunities to show you they deserve to play, but you also have to win games at the same time. That is the balance between getting results just now and the best way forward in the future. Losing is not acceptable.

'It is making sure they understand what you want on the pitch. It is not just hunger in terms of rampaging around, it is doing it in a structured manner as a whole group.'

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