QPR expose Norwich City’s soft centre for Alex Neil

Norwich City centre-back Sebastien Bassong's return to the Championship starting line up was an unha

Norwich City centre-back Sebastien Bassong's return to the Championship starting line up was an unhappy one. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Alex Neil insists Norwich City have the muscle not to keep getting bullied in the Championship.

The Canaries imploded again defensively at QPR in a common theme which has defined their recent tailspin.

Martin Olsson was collateral damage inside the opening seconds when he was red-carded after City failed to deal with a throw-in. Conor Washington and Sebastian Polter then profited from copious space inside the visitors' penalty area.

'Of course it is frustrating, particularly the first goal because it is about individual battles in the box,' he said. 'My team was big. I had Russell Martin, who has been a centre back for the best part of the last three seasons, I have Ryan Bennett and Seb Bassong in the middle of my defence so as far as I am concerned we should be competing and winning those headers.

City have now picked up just one point from the last 15 to slip a distant 13 points behind leaders Newcastle United.

'We need to stick together,' said Neil. 'The boys need to believe we can turn this around. I certainly believe that and so do my staff. We are going through a slump but we have to be strong enough to come through it.'

Olsson's dismissal was a key moment but Norwich were again punished for poor defending.

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'I don't think the first goal has anything to do with the fact we are down to 10 men,' he said. 'We have markers and everybody has their man and we clock off twice unfortunately. We have two centre backs dealing with one striker and he splits the pair and runs between them. They know they should have done better themselves and we had done a lot of work on it during the week. I said to the players it is easy to defend when you are 2-0 down because it doesn't carry the same weight. It doesn't mean as much as when the whistle starts.'