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26 December 2015

City boss reacts to Boxing Day Spurs defeat

ALEX Neil admitted his team were beaten by a good side after their 3-0 Boxing Day loss at Tottenham Hotspur.

Harry Kane’s first half double and Tom Carroll’s strike late in the game meant the Canaries were dealt a reality check after last weekend’s famous win at Manchester United.

After a promising start, Neil believes the match at White Hart Lane turned on the award and conversion of Spurs’ penalty after 26 minutes.

“I didn’t think there was much in the game until they got their penalty. After that, we found it tough. They grew in confidence and our use of the ball wasn’t as good as it could have been,” he told Norwich City TV.

“We had a couple of opportunities before they scored, but the first goal changes the game. Once they scored and up until half-time, we found it tough.

“The second half was a bit more even in terms of chances, we didn’t get peppered, but we need to perform well at a consistent level, and unfortunately today we played against a team who played well against us.”

Neil had no qualms about the spot-kick decision despite initially believing Declan Rudd had won the ball off Kane, adding: “We’re more disappointed with the defending leading up to it.

“My initial instinct was that Declan touched the ball, and I was remonstrating at the side – but I’ve had a look at it after the game and you could argue the case that it was a penalty.”

City’s boss wasn’t too downbeat at the final whistle despite the result, saying his team have performed at a lower level in other matches this season

“I’ll be honest; I don’t think we’ve played that badly. We’ve certainly played worse than that, but we need to make sure we’re at our peak and moving the ball as well as we can,” he commented.

“Today we didn’t do that, but sometimes that’s credit to the opposition. They squeezed us high up the pitch and made it tough for us.

“Spurs are a good side. They’re not in the top four for no reason; they’ve got a lot of top players. We’re disappointed, but we need to put it behind us now.”

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