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BOSS HAPPY WITH SECOND HALF IMPROVEMENT

20 July 2015

Manager reacts to narrow Kufstein defeat

ALEX Neil was determined to focus on the positives even though his Norwich City team suffered their first defeat of pre-season against Maccabi Haifa on Monday.

Alon Turgeman netted the game’s decisive goal six minutes before half-time, with the Israeli side holding on to their lead in the face of constant City pressure after the break.

It was his team’s improvement as a collective unit in the second half that Neil pointed to when addressing reporters after the final whistle in Kufstein.

“Bearing in mind how many changes we made, in the second half there were many positives to take,” he commented.

“We were totally dominant. We definitely should have scored. We had a good few opportunities and we didn’t take any of them.

“In the first half it was a bit of an itsy-bitsy game, but they probably had more opportunities than us. I didn’t think our pressing was up to scratch.

“We had a chat about that at half-time, and it improved drastically in the second half. We dominated the whole of that half, and really should have got more for our efforts.”

City will now return to their training base in Grassau, Germany before facing Bundesliga outfit FC Augsburg on Saturday ahead of returning to the UK.

Neil is expecting another tough challenge but says it’s all part of the process of pre-season.

“We’ve got a game on Saturday against a team who are probably even better than Maccabi Haifa when you look at the standings,” he said.

“There are quite a few players who didn’t play tonight, and a few who only got 45 minutes. Really, it was a team full of squad players with a lot of guys who have been looking for an opportunity.

“The main thing is to make sure that we’re ironing all these things out in pre-season, and that’s what we’re getting our work in for.”

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