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12 December 2015

City boss reflects on 1-1 Toffees draw

ALEX Neil was delighted with how his team turned their game around against Everton to claim a 1-1 draw at Carrow Road.

City could have faced a bigger half-time deficit than the single goal they did have to overcome after Roberto Martinez's visitors spurned opportunities in the opening 45 minutes.

Wes Hoolahan's leveller quickly after the break launched a much better second half display from Neil's side, however, and he praised their work ethic in earning a share of the spoils.

"We had a few honest words at half-time, and to be fair to them they responded. They fought for every ball and chased for every ball," he revealed to Norwich City TV.

"Tactically nothing changed. Strategically, nothing changed, but they went about their business in the right way. It showed how good a team we can be.

"It's always very honest, there's no hiding place in our changing room. That's what you need. If you're going to get anywhere, you need to know what's acceptable and what's not.

"We looked much more confident in the second half, for whatever reason. There was much more intensity about our game."

Neil was pleased with how his team showed the character needed to reverse their fortunes after Romelu Lukaku's opener on the quarter-hour mark.

"Going into half-time, I thought our use of the ball was tentative. Once we conceded the goal, there were a few groans from the fans," he said.

"The players started to go into their shells a little bit. What we needed at that point was for guys to stick their chests out and not worry.

"One thing that happens is fans react to what they see, and our effort and endeavour were lacking in the first half.

"What you need is a response, and thankfully for us we had that in the second half. I was really pleased how they all went about their business, the leaders in the group rallied the team."

City are now unbeaten in three on home turf, with Neil adding: "That's three games at home where we've picked up five points, but we need to make sure we're picking more wins up.

"It's a good point based on the first half performance. If you'd have said at half-time that we'd get a point, I would have taken it."

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