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24 October 2015

Manager reflects on a narrow defeat

ALEX Neil believes West Bromwich Albion performed better in key areas to earn their victory over his Norwich City team on Saturday.

Salomon Rondon powered home a header in the early stages of the second half for what turned out to be the decisive goal in a closely-fought match at Carrow Road.

It was the Baggies' sixth cleansheet of the Premier Leagye campaign, and reflecting on the result after the final whistle, Neil voiced his frustration at the pattern of the game.

"It was something we'd spoken about during the week, we knew how important that first goal was going to be," he told Norwich City TV.

"In the first half we had enough of the ball in good areas and we had a couple of decent opportunities, but when you concede so early in the second half then you end up having to chase the game.

"We didn't get out to stop the cross, and then when the cross did come in we didn't get a head on it. They were bigger and stronger.

"The story of the game is the fact that they put six or seven crosses into our box and got on the end of them, and we must have put about 30 or 40 in but they defended their box better than we did."

City's most promising spell was in the first half, with Wes Hoolahan, Jonny Howson and Nathan Redmond all going closest to putting a dominant Canaries side ahead.

Neil believes his team are learning harsh lessons about the narrow margins in the top flight, adding: "If we score some of our chances in the first half, it's a very different game. When the crucial times came, we didn't do enough and it cost us.

"That's where we are at the moment. I've never lost three games in a row as a manager before, and it doesn't feel good and you want to go and put it right.

"We've got a really tough game next, but the bottom line is I'll keep doing what I think I'm good at, I'll keep working hard and hopefully we can improve."

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