Tights spot at Norwich City nothing new for Alex Neil

Alex Neil on his first day as Norwich City boss at Bournemouth in January 2015. Picture by Paul Ches

Alex Neil on his first day as Norwich City boss at Bournemouth in January 2015. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Alex Neil knows he is in a tight spot but the Norwich City manager insists he inherited a tougher hand when he first arrived at Carrow Road.

The Canaries were similarly on the fringes of the play-offs in January 2015, after replacing Neil Adams, but the Scot had much less time to plot a revival that ended in Wembley promotion.

Norwich host Brentford this weekend looking for a first league win since beating Rotherham in mid-October.

'We have come from a more difficult position to get promotion. I came in on January 9 that season and it'll be interesting to see where we sit between now and then,' he said. 'It is not as if we are where Aston Villa were earlier in the season, third or fourth from bottom. I just think it is expectation levels, which is fair, but we have long way to go. Goals conceded and goals scored are big statistics people look at. However, if you get promoted at the end having conceded a lot of goals you would not be fussed about the statistics. As far as we are concerned, we have conceded far too many. We are far too good to have conceded that many and it is something we have to improve on if we want to be at the top end.'

City slipped to a fifth straight Championship defeat at Derby, but in contrast to some lame recent displays Neil's side mixed it against the Rams.

'If I am being honest I thought there were some positives,' he said. 'I thought defensively my back four did well at times. John (Ruddy) had a good game, the two lads in the middle of the park worked their socks off. The only thing we could have improved on is when we nicked the ball on three or four occasions, particularly in the first-half, in some dangerous areas we didn't have any end product.'

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