Win or bust for Norwich City’s top two bid

Norwich manager Neil Adams knows City have little margin for error. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus

Norwich manager Neil Adams knows City have little margin for error. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Neil Adams knows it is win or bust in Norwich City's bid to target automatic promotion from the Championship.

City's 2-1 defeat at Reading left them moored in seventh place, 11 points behind current leaders Bournemouth, who they visit when the league resumes after this weekend's FA Cup third round tie at Preston.

The Canaries have already lost seven games this season, only one less than in their previous Championship promotion success in the 2010/11, when they finished second behind QPR.

Hull lost 15 games when they went up in second place in 2013 but Norwich have already lost more games than last season's promoted duo Leicester (six) and Burnley (five) and Adams accepts there is no margin for error.

'We can't lose many more because the gap is now extending to the top two places. We have to get back on it straight away,' he said. 'It is about winning games, it always is. Perhaps the way the game went (at Reading) you would have taken a draw but draws are not good enough. We felt we had a good opportunity and we let it slip. We will always try to win and we have been scoring goals, looking solid and tight and it didn't happened so that is hugely frustrating.

'We were not at it as a team - I wouldn't point the finger at individuals. We huffed and puffed and if we had got an equaliser at the end it would probably have been a long ball or a mistake or a piece of luck. You were waiting for us to turn the screw and it didn't happen. We had long enough to do that.'

Adams and the rest of his squad must stew on their latest Championship setback before heading to title-chasing Bournemouth on January 10.

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'It will be a long fortnight now. We have had a particularly good run of recent form, not just the results but the manner of the performances,' he said. 'The disappointing thing for me is we have not made a better fist of the game. We lost 2-1, which might seem a narrow defeat, but we have to better than that.'