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21 February 2015

City's manager reflects on Watford win

ALEX Neil was pleased with how Norwich City’s tactical plan paid dividends in their 3-0 triumph over Watford on Saturday.

City’s boss made two changes to his team before kick-off at Vicarage Road even though the Canaries impressed last time out against Wolves, with Nathan Redmond and Gary Hooper dropping to the bench.

Their hosts had won five or their previous six but were well beaten at the final whistle, much to the delight of Neil, who spoke exclusively to Norwich City TV post-match.

“You need to use your full squad nowadays, and we used some of the guys who haven’t been playing, and Cameron Jerome scored and Wes Hoolahan got the penalty, so it worked well for us,”

“We made sure we stifled Watford’s style of play. We wanted to flood the middle of the park and try and pick them off on the counter attack. We did extremely well.

“Ultimately I’ve got to pick the team that I think is going to win the game. With the players that were left out, I had that discussion with them and made it clear why I was leaving it them out. It wasn’t about form; it was just about picking the right team to win games.

“It’s important that you come away to the top teams and make it as difficult for them as you can. The game really couldn’t have worked out any better for us.”

Lewis Grabban added two more goals to his tally for the season, and has now netted in each of the Canaries’ last three games against Charlton, Wolves and the Hornets.

Neil reserved praise for the ex-Bournemouth man, who has flourished since the new boss took the reins in January, but also highlighted the impact of his defensive five.

“He’s been fantastic since I came in. He’s one of those strikers who’s a complete striker; he can run in behind, he can score goals, he can take the ball in and link the play – he’s been absolutely fantastic, and I’m pleased that he got his two goals today,” he said.

“You need to build off a solid base though. Four clean sheets in five has been excellent. I think we really limited Watford, who are a good attacking team at this level, to very little.”

With his team just four points off the automatic promotion spots ahead of Tuesday’s trip to Blackburn Rovers, Neil added: “I said a few weeks ago that it’s a case of trying to go on and run. I think other teams now will be looking at us and won’t really want to come up against us.

“That’s a good thing for us, but with that comes expectancy. We need to make sure that we can take that on board, and continue to try and plays as well as we have done.”


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