Same again lads, is Alex Neil’s message after Norwich City’s 1-0 Championship win over Aston Villa
PUBLISHED: 23:14 13 December 2016 | UPDATED: 23:49 13 December 2016
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Alex Neil wants a Carrow Road encore against Huddersfield later this week after a vital 1-0 Championship win over Aston Villa eased the pressure on the Scot.
Neil was under no illusions what the reaction would have been if the Canaries had not picked up only a second league win in the last nine.
Nelson Oliveira’s third goal in the last three games provided some much-needed respite for Neil and his squad.
“This is a massive result. If it was going to be a damp squib that would have been a lot of trouble for me,” he said. “It wasn’t and the players showed the fighting spirit of one of my teams. I knew what was coming, of course, if it went wrong and it will continue on to Friday. I have an expectation of myself and my team and we have not delivered. It is not a case I think what has been said is not merited or not warranted. I have answered every question head-on but they responded, fought, scrapped and showed a bit of quality.
“We have been through a bad run and this performance again shows what we are capable of because the results have been unacceptable. The last three matches I think, bar the first-half at Barnsley, it looks like we are going in the right direction.”
Neil was adamant his men were full value for the victory against Steve Bruce’s Villa.
“I thought we deserved to win. I thought we were the better side,” he said. “We started really lively. For about 25 minutes we were good and then there was a lull and they built a bit of momentum from that. Then it swung back to us just before half-time and in the second-half I felt we were completely dominant.
“My defenders were excellent. I thought my two centre-backs were completely dominant and the same with the full-backs. Ivo Pinto showed again how much we have missed him.
“I thought I would go with experience, even on the bench. The guys who have seen it, done it before are sometimes the best option. We stood up. We were men. We fought hard and did the ugly jobs.”