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O'NEIL: A BIG THREE POINTS

17 January 2015

Midfielder prepared for promotion battle

GARY O'Neil was pleased to help his side over the line during Norwich City's 3-2 victory over Cardiff, in what was manager Alex Neil's first home game in charge.

The Canaries raced into a 3-0 half-time lead courtesy of goals from Gary Hooper, Kyle Lafferty and Cameron Jerome, but found their advantage threatened shortly after the hour-mark as the Bluebirds pulled back two goals in the space of three minutes.

However, the hosts held on to secure back-to-back victories in the Sky Bet Championship, and after the game O'Neil told Norwich City TV: "The objective was three points, and we got that.

"When you look at it in the plain light of day, it’s a big three points. Obviously it didn’t need to be quite as hard as we made it, but the end result is what we set out for.

"I didn’t feel like we changed our approach mentally, but Cardiff have had a kick up the backside in the 15 minute break and they changed their system a little bit. They get the first goal, and then their tails are up.

"In the end, when it’s gone 3-2 with half-an-hour to go, we’ve done well to win the game because they had all the momentum."



Despite the result, City remain outside the play-off positions after all the teams above them apart from Derby County also took maximum points.

Their cause is aided by still being yet to face many of their promotion rivals on home territory, and O'Neil added: "If you look at our last seven league games, we’ve got 16 points.

"If we keep that up between now and the end of the season, we’re going to be right there with a chance. Obviously it’s a big game next week with Brentford; they’re above us, and are one of the teams we need to catch.

"There are going to be a lot more changes, but the eight at the top have created a little gap now."

Having experienced promotion to the top-flight three times already in his career, the 31-year-old knows how to get out of the division better than most, commenting: "I’ve been up the top of the Championship a few times, and it’s not easy to get over the line.

"The boys at the top aren’t out of sight yet. We can definitely catch the top two, and that’s still the aim at the moment.

"Our home form needs to be spot on. We just need to keep winning games, because the last two wins have been massive for us.

"We managed to dig out three points at Bournemouth last week, and then today when we had our backs against the wall for the last half-hour. We need to make sure we keep this going."

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