Wise up and win ugly is Alex Neil’s challenge to his Norwich City squad

Norwich City manager Alex Neil and goalkeeping coach Dean Kiely issue instructions. Picture: Paul Ch

Norwich City manager Alex Neil and goalkeeping coach Dean Kiely issue instructions. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City's new Championship mantra is win ugly.

The Canaries blew two points at Fulham from a commanding position and Alex Neil has told his men there must be no repeat ahead of Saturday's Preston league visit.

'At times, certainly away from home, we need to be prepared to win ugly,' he said. 'We wanted to play the perfect game and we know that at this level sometimes you can't play in certain areas because it can come back to bite you. We have that many good players that perhaps they think they can always play themselves out of trouble but the point I make to them is, 'Why risk it? Why do that when we are leading 2-0.' so it is something we have discussed. I expect it won't happen again and we learn from it.

'We did enough to win the Fulham game and let it go as much through our own faults. What we can't do is over-analyse one half of football because we have won seven out of the last nine games. In anybody's language that is an unbelievable record.'

Neil and his coaching team are working hard to eradicate the cheap goals.

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'It was not costing us points, up until perhaps Newcastle and now Fulham, however it is something we will, as a coaching staff, focus on because now it has been recognised and it is glaring for all to see we can't afford it to cost us going forward,' he said. 'We have spoken to the squad and we will improve. When we are 2-0 up instead of continuing to play the same way we have to play a bit smarter and a bit more streetwise.

'Because we are winning 2-0 I don't know if the boys think we have to keep trying to get it down and make 100 passes before we cross the halfway line whereas what we needed to do was turn it and play off Cameron (Jerome) and then get in behind them and cause them problems.'

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