Boss reflects on first leg drawALEX Neil says Norwich City and Ipswich Town were evenly matched as they set-up a fascinating second leg of their Sky Bet Championship play-off semi-final with a 1-1 draw at Portman Road.
Paul Anderson struck just before half-time to earn the hosts a result after Jonny Howson had opened the scoring with a tidy finish on 41 minutes.
The Canaries controlled most of the game after the break, with Neil commenting after the final whistle: “In the second half we had more of the ball but didn’t have any real cutting edge in the final third as the game wore on.
“I didn’t think there was much in it. I thought it was an unusual game – in the first half we had some good chances. You could see how much each team wanted it.
“We managed to get the goal, which was crucial, but then the goal we conceded was a bit sloppy. We had dealt with straight balls throughout the match, and it was just a punt down the park. I think if we’d have got to half-time then the second half would have been a lot more comfortable.
“The good thing from our point of view is that we’ve come away to a difficult venue and we didn’t lose the game.”
Attention now switches to next Saturday’s second leg at Carrow Road, with the winner earning a spot at Wembley to compete with either Middlesbrough or Brentford for a place in the Premier League for next season.
Neil hopes home advantage will aid his side, adding: “Today we had 2,000 fans, but next week we will have 27,000, so hopefully that will work in our favour.
“I still think we can play better and I hope we will at our place.
“We’ve got 90 minutes, we’ve got to make sure that we play as well as we possibly can and compete as well as we can because that we will be a big factor in the game.
“If we do that, we’ve got a good chance of hopefully progressing.”