City close gap to automatic promotion placesALEX Neil was satisfied at how his Norwich City team got the job done against rivals Ipswich Town in their high stakes Sky Bet Championship clash on Sunday.
Bradley Johnson and Lewis Grabban struck to secure a 2-0 victory – City’s sixth in a row – as they moved above their opponents in the table and to within a point of the automatic promotion places.
Neil admitted afterwards that his team had been in a contest, but repeated his pre-match statement that the result was always going to be the most important conclusion from this game.
“I didn’t think it was the best game if I’m being honest. In these types of occasion, and particularly with the way Ipswich play, it’s always going to be a bit of a battle,” he relayed to Norwich City TV.
“I’d have liked to have got the ball down a bit more and played, but ultimately, as I said during the week, the most important thing was to go and get a win, and I thought we deserved to win the match.
“I wouldn’t say I was worried at any stage. I don’t think Ipswich had any clearcut chances where they should have scored. They had one in the first half that probably the best chance of the game for them.
“I thought all in all it was a relatively comfortable afternoon, but it was hard fought match. The guys have put a lot of effort into that, and made sure that the fans can go home happy.”
Johnson crashed home the opener after 24 minutes, his tenth of the season, to back up his dramatic winning strike against Blackburn on Tuesday.
It set the Canaries on their way and Neil was full of praise for his in-form midfielder.
“He has hit a wonderful strike again. He scored one in midweek and he’s added another one today, so I’m delighted for him,” he said.
“That puts him into double figures for goals as well, which is a phenomenal achievement for a midfield player.
“He’s been doing great. Since I’ve come in, he’s been fantastic. Even before then, he’s had a really good, successful season for himself.
“More importantly for us now, as a group, we’re doing really well. We’ve put ourselves in contention for the top two.”
On sampling his first East Anglian derby Neil added: “I think derbies are for the fans, and you could hear that they were in great voice today. One of the most pleasing things for me is that I’ve sensed a real change in the games at home.
“They were really vocal and gave the team their full support and backing, and that does make a huge difference to the players.”
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