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7 November 2015

City edge out Swansea at Carrow Road

ALEX Neil was happy with how his team executed their new-look gameplan to beat Swansea City and end a run of six matches without a win.

Neil set his side up to allow their visitors the majority of possession - but the Canaries created the most chances and won thanks to Jonny Howson's second half header.

With the three points safely in the bag, Neil reflected on a strategy that eventually reaped reward at Carrow Road.

"The setup was certainly different to what we've been doing. When you've been performing in the way we were but still not winning games, you need to find an alternative," he told Norwich City TV.

"I thought we came very close to that last week, and then we altered it again today. Tactics we can vary, and I felt for this game, to soak up pressure and hit them on the counter would be the best option.

"It's not as pretty as the way I would like - I like to see us dominating games, but the most important thing is winning matches. We managed to do that today.

"Credit to the players. I thought they worked ever so hard; defensively we were solid throughout the match, and the best chances in the game came to us. We could have scored more."

Neil admits the tactic to be less expansive was a risky one - but that it ultimately worked as City picked up their first win in the league since the 3-1 triumph over Bournemouth in September.

They are now four points clear of the bottom three in the Barclays Premier League, with a trip to Chelsea next on the agenda after the two-week international break.

"That's been the focus this week. Setting your team up defensively is the easiest thing in the world as a coach. The hardest thing is to add the layer where you're causing teams problems going forward," he added.

"I felt we had that. It's something we can improve on, but when we got the goal there was more confidence.

"When you play that way, it all hinges on winning the game. If you go that way and lose the game, you're going to get a lot of criticism coming your way. Now, it will be looked at as a great plan.

"The most important thing today was the three points, we got them today and that's all that mattered."

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