Alex Neil admitted he was ‘surprised’ at how old club Norwich City set out to frustrate Stoke City in a 0-0 Championship stalemate.

The Scot, who guided the Canaries to the Premier League but was unable to keep them there, felt his Potters should have been out of sight.

Angus Gunn’s defiance earned David Wagner’s side a hard-earned point against the in-form hosts.

“Where to start? I thought we were the dominant side through the whole game. I thought we were the better team,” said Neil. “We spoke about Norwich and the DNA of Norwich and how they try to play and I think that's the first time I've seen a Norwich side come here and play for a draw or go anywhere and play for a draw really in the Championship.

"They were hard to break down and hard to get through but having said that, if we'd have scored three goals, four goals, I don't think anyone would have had any complaints. We had numerous chances to take the lead, we didn't take it.

"The only way Norwich looked like they were going to score was in transition, particularly when we forced the ball central. We needed to work around the shape.

“I thought we were excellent.

"It was a different challenge for us. The last couple of games have been man for man and the game has opened up but this time you could see Norwich not getting the ball out from a goal-kick. I've not seen them do that before.”

Neil felt Wagner’s approach was to counter Stoke’s ability to press high.

“I think they understood how good we are at pressing the ball. They gave us a lot of respect,” he said. “They got a point. I have no qualms with anybody playing that way, by the way, I don’t want to make out they shouldn’t have done it. However you want to play the game is up to you. It just surprised me a little bit because I have seen Norwich play for years and that is generally not their style.

“The keeper has played well for them. But we should still score. We have had enough clear cut chances to put the ball in the net.

"That is as loud as I have heard the (home) fans since I have been here and the fact the majority stayed to the end and clapped the team off was extremely pleasing for me because I think what they can see at the minute is the lads leaving everything they have got on the pitch.

“We are disappointed not to take our chances but in terms of structure, how we played, the effort, playing for the team, playing for the club, I don’t think any of that is in question.”