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CITY v BLACKPOOL: THE MANAGER'S PREVIEW

6 February 2015

Neil: We'll aim to carry more attacking threat

ALEX Neil is content with the balance of his squad after the winter transfer window, with Norwich City set to host Blackpool this Saturday (3pm).

City swooped for Tony Andreu from Hamilton Academical on deadline day, while Kyle Lafferty moved out on loan to Turkish outfit Caykur Rizespor.

The Football League loan window reopens on Monday February 9 and although Neil didn’t hide the fact that the Canaries had tried to do some additional business in January, he says the current crop of players represent a competitive group in the Sky Bet Championship.

“Kyle’s away on loan in Turkey, and we’ve managed to bring Tony in, so the squad’s fine between now and the end of the season,” he told Norwich City TV on Friday.


“I think it was no secret to anyone that we were trying to do some business in the transfer window, and there was a lot of hard work put in, but unfortunately some things you can’t affect, and ultimately that’s what it boiled down to.

“We’ve got the squad that we’ve got until the end of the season, which I’m happy with.

“Tony’s got good quality; he’s a versatile player and an attacking player. He can play in a variety of positions, and he’s certainly scored goals in the time that I’ve had him, so hopefully he can add that to the team.”

Blackpool are rooted to the bottom of the table and nine points adrift from safety, and Neil is in no doubt about what his team need to add to their game at Carrow Road this weekend to get maximum points.

“Goals, in a word, it’s as simple to as that,” he added.


“I thought defensively we were good against Birmingham and our retention of the ball was a lot better, but we didn’t really carry enough attacking threat within the game, and that’s something we’ll be looking to improve on.

“We’ve got to go and win the game. I think in every home game you’ve got to set out to go and try and win, as we do away from home as well, but the balance on Saturday wasn’t quite right – we need to make sure we get that right for this weekend.”

Jonny Howson is set to return from his three-match suspension on Saturday, but Gary O’Neil (toe), Ryan Bennett (hamstring) and Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe (knee) remain sidelined.

Neil says he now has established the core of his team in his own mind, but insists that he will pick starting elevens on a game-by-game basis.

“I think it’s each game as it comes. It’s still been a relatively short period of time that I’ve had to assess the squad, and some the guys I’ve not even see play yet, so that becomes a bit difficult,” he said.

“I’ve got a rough idea of the spine of my team, and I think that’s the most important thing. I’ll be looking to try and keep that spine of the team together as much as we can.”

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