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23 October 2015

City v West Brom: The Manager's Preview

ALEX Neil knows that his Norwich City team needs to focus on both ends of the pitch in order to accumulate Premier League points.

The Canaries have scored in all but one of their nine league matches so far this season - but are also yet to keep a cleansheet and have the poorest defensive record in the division after Sunday's 6-2 loss at Newcastle United.

Neil is looking to redress the balance when his team host West Bromwich Albion at Carrow Road on Saturday (3pm).

"It's just about trying to get the balance right between attack and defence," he told Norwich City TV.

"Our attacking play was good at the weekend, but defensively we didn't do well enough and we want to address that as best as we can.

"That's the difficulty you've got at this level. Most times in the Championship we were normally the dominant team, so going forward was enough.

"At this level, you've got to make sure you have that attacking threat but you also keep the back door shut. It's much easier said than done."

Speaking after last weekend's game at St James' Park, City skipper Russell Martin said that the players could have no complaints if the manager elected to alter his starting eleven against the Baggies.

Neil admitted that all eventualities will enter his thoughts pre-match, explaining: "Everything is always subject to change, particularly when you don't perform as well as you'd like in certain aspects of your game.

"We'll be looking at how we play, our style of play, personnel - everything comes into question. Hopefully we can get it right on Saturday.

"It doesn't matter what happens in the week, it's important what happens on Saturday. That's when the proof will be in the pudding."

The Scot praised the impact of Dieumerci Mbokani, however, adding: "He's done really well. He was probably the only shining light from the weekend. We're really pleased with what he contributed."

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