Norwich City boss Alex Neil lamented his side’s inability to recover after conceding to Watford in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Vicarage Road.
Troy Deeney opened the scoring from the spot midway through the first half, before Odion Ighalo added a second late on to move Watford into the top half of the Premier League and leave Norwich looking over their shoulders.
Dieumerci Mbokani joined Lewis Grabban up front after the half-time interval, but added little to their feeble attacking efforts, with Deeney and Ighalo routinely threatening the Norwich goal before the latter’s stoppage-time strike.
Neil told reporters after the game: “I thought there was nothing in the game until we made an error at the back and it cost us a penalty.
“I think the first goal is the crucial because once that first goal goes in we’re in the position where we need to try and chase the game.
“We made a tactical change at half-time and brought a second striker on so we had more presence at the top end of the pitch because that was causing us an issue but to be honest we still didn’t win enough headers, hold the ball up as much as we would like.”
The trip to Vicarage Road saw goalkeeper Declan Rudd handed his first Premier League start in four years, a decision that came amid growing criticism of regular number one John Ruddy.
But Neil insists he has no issues with the England international, adding: “I just think that people get in the team based on merit and I just felt Declan Rudd in the games he’s played has performed really well and just felt it was time for a change and that Declan deserved an opportunity.
“He made some good saves, certainly in the second half. I don’t think there was much for him to do in the first half.
“Obviously I discussed it with John and told him what I was doing.”