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23:30 1st March 2016

by Ben Mouncer

Neil praises supporters after Chelsea loss

CITY's togetherness remains intact despite another Premier League defeat on Tuesday night against Chelsea, insists manager Alex Neil.

The Canaries' winless streak in the top flight was extended to eight matches as first half goals from Kenedy and Diego Costa proved enough for the visitors at Carrow Road.

Nathan Redmond pulled one back for City in a battling second half performance and afterwards Neil praised the supporters for sticking with him and the players.

"You can't question the spirit of the club. The fans, with the run that we've been on, they've stuck with me and the team. They recognised the fact that the team gave it everything," he told Norwich City TV.

"They're desperate for us to do well and that's obviously good for us. We're doing everything we possibly can.

"We've got opportunities to do it and we're capable of doing it, that's the frustrating part. We just need to take more of the chances that we do create."

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City were stunned by Kenedy's strike, which came just 39 seconds after kick-off and is recorded as the fastest Premier League goal of the season.

On the disappointment at his team's sluggish start, he said: "The first goal was hugely frustrating for us. We had six players behind the ball and their left-back manages to score.

"It just makes the game more difficult from that points onwards. You want to get a good start and implement your style of play.

"Obviously the second goal is offside by half a yard, but the more frustration comes from the first goal. The boys tried as hard as they could but they just made a couple of errors.

"In the second half, we gave it our best shot where we had opportunities to score but we didn't score. We defended resolutely and the boys put their bodies on the line."

Neil was referring to the spate of stoppages in the second period - Gary O'Neil sustained a gash to the head after a collision with teammate Robbie Brady, who lost two teeth and chipped another.

Alex Tettey was substituted in the first half and taken to hospital for a precautionary leg x-ray, while there were also heavy knocks for Timm Klose and Jonny Howson.

Looking ahead, Neil admitted that City need to put multiple victories on the board to give themselves a chance of top flight survival.

"We need to win a good handful of the remaining games to make sure that we've got a good chance of staying up," he explained.

"We've got Swansea which is a huge game and then Manchester City before a batch of five or six matches that will determine where we are."

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