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Neil delighted as Norwich answer half-time questions

Norwich City manager Alex Neil praised his players for their second-half response in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Everton, acknowledging there were questions asked of the hosts in the dressing room at Carrow Road.

Having fallen behind to Romelu Lukaku’s 15th-minute opener, Norwich were penned back for long spells in the first half before improving after the break.

A knock-down from half-time substitute Ryan Bennett allowed Wes Hoolahan to level and Norwich wasted a glorious chance to claim the points when Cameron Jerome turned Hoolahan’s backheel over the crossbar from inside the area.

Neil refused to blame his striker, telling BT Sport: “It’s one individual miss. Even the best in the world miss chances. It was great build-up and he misses the chance but his work rate got him the chance in the first place.

“At half-time there were a few things that had to be said, I voiced my concerns and it’s strange because nothing changed tactically or strategically.

“All that changed was the desire and work rate – that made the difference. It’s just a case of getting players to commit. You’ve got to get after them and commit to what you’re doing.

“There were a few grumps and groans from fans and the players didn’t know how to respond. But credit to them, there were questions posed at half-time and I though they answered them.

“I didn’t think we worked at anywhere near the levels we should have in the first half, we looked tentative and players started to go into their shells.

“In the second half we more than merited a point.”

Neil’s men have taken just five points from their last nine games, with the Scot acknowledging a need to improve his squad in January.

“Of course, that’s one thing that’s let us down, we didn’t get bodies in in the last window,” he added.

“But in this window we need people in to give the squad a hand. I wouldn’t go into specifics because there’ll be a few lads in my changing room thinking ‘he’s looking to upgrade me’.”

Sat 12 Dec, 2015
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