City boss praises Carrow Road crowdALEX Neil says his Norwich City team didn’t make the most of their more promising spells against West Ham – but he was still pleased with what he got out of Tuesday’s friendly.
The Canaries couldn’t break the deadlock against their Premier League opponents in a pre-season friendly played to mark the 80th anniversary of Carrow Road.
Slaven Bilic introduced a raft of substitutes on the hour mark for the visitors, and their renewed vigour was rewarded when Harry Toffolo turned the ball into his own net for the decisive goal eight minutes from the end.
Neil said: “I thought in the first five minutes we looked a little bit edgy but then I thought we settled down and after that, we zipped the ball about really well and created some good opportunities.
“Unfortunately we didn’t manage to get a goal when we were on top. Up to the 60-minute mark, we were the better side and moved it really well.
“It was always going to be tough when they made nine substitutions, particularly when that team is most of their regular starters from last season.
“It was a great test for our boys, particularly that last half an hour, to make sure they dig in and try and do as much as they can and be stretched and tested as much as they could be. That was good preparation for the league.”
Over 20,000 supporters turned out for the first home match of the 2015-16 campaign, with City set to welcome Brentford on Saturday before the competitive campaign starts against Crystal Palace on August 8.
Neil was impressed with the turnout as the Club put on a number of events to recognise eight decades of football at Carrow Road.
“The one thing about Norwich is that the people love their team, and they want to come and support their team, whether it’s a friendly or a league game,” he said.
“I thought they were really good tonight. They appreciated seeing some of the guys they maybe hadn’t seen so much of, and they worked their socks off for them.
“The team we had out tonight – well, we’ve got another eight or nine boys who were regular starters for us last year.
“I think it shows the strength in depth that we do have. The lads held their own and I was pleased for them.”