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31 January 2015

City manager happy with improved showing despite goalless draw at Blues.

ALEX Neil was happy with how his Norwich City side stepped up their game in their 0-0 draw with Birmingham City.

Neil didn't hide his disappointment after last weekend's defeat to Brentford, and the Canaries' boss rung the changes for the trip to St Andrew's, making five alterations to his team.

Despite not managing to pick up all three points against the Blues, he was pleased with the general upturn in performance.

"It was certainly a huge improvement on last week, all we need to do now is make sure we add that bit in the final third. If we do that, then we'll be fine," he told Norwich City TV after the final whistle.

"I think if anybody deserved to win it I thought that was us.  I thought we controlled the game. However, looking at the chances that we created, we didn't do enough really to go on and win it.

"We had two or three chances that we could have done better with, but I thought overall the performance was good. I thought we moved the ball really well.

"Over the piece, we were the better side but the final third was the bit that let us down."

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City kept their first cleansheet since December 13, with Sebastien Bassong returning to the fray in central defence for the first time this season.

Neil was keen to praise the collective effort of the team, however, in keeping their in-form hosts quiet.

"I don't think it was just down to Seb, I think it was the whole back four, and Alex Tettey in front, they worked their socks off," he said.

"Not only that, we defended from the front as well. The lads at the top end of the pitch worked really hard.

"I thought the shape of the team was excellent, and I didn't think Birmingham caused us any issues."

When quizzed about the impending closure of the transfer window after the game, Neil remained open to all possibilities ahead of Monday's 11pm deadline.

"The next 48 hours will dictate what's going to happen. The chances are we may well be, or we may not, it really depends on other factors as well as our own," he explained.

"We've come down from the Premier League and we've got a big squad. We'll wait and see what happens with the players we've got, and then we'll have a look at what we're trying to bring in."

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