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18:00 6th February 2016

by Ben Mouncer

Manager honest in assessment of City's form

ALEX Neil isn't hiding from the Canaries' current predicament in the Premier League following Saturday's 2-0 loss at Aston Villa.

City fell to their fifth top flight defeat in a row, and their sixth in all competitions, after Joleon Lescott and Gabriel Agbonlahor goals at Villa Park.

They dropped into the relegation zone after the result and Newcastle United's win over West Bromwich Albion, with Neil admitting to Norwich City TV that they have a battle on their hands in the coming months.

"It's going to be a test for me and it's going to be a test for the players," he said.

"This period now is going to show whether we've got enough as a group. They're going to have to stick their chests out and be brave and do what's required.

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"I'd like to think we've got enough. I speak to the players on a regular basis and I know what type of men they are, I know how much they want to do well.

"We talk about everything you can possibly think about that could make your team better, but talk is cheap. There's nothing worse than standing here having lost.

"You can talk about things all you like, it's about doing it on the pitch."

City were all square in a tense game against the Premier League's basement club, but Lescott's header on the cusp of half-time came at a vital time for the home side.

Neil added: "You work on things all week, you talk about it and do everything you can to get prepared for a game, but it boils down to the fact that we didn't defend the ball from a set-piece.

"Up until that point, we had the better opportunities in the game to take the lead.

"We came in after hoping to get them rallied at half-time, and then we made a critical error at the back to concede a second goal.

"From that point we huffed and puffed, had a couple of opportunities and could have had a penalty, but ultimately we didn't do enough to make the difference."

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