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26 September 2015

Boss on Hammers draw & Redmond impact

ALEX Neil focused on the positives even though West Ham struck a last-gasp equaliser to earn a point against his Norwich City team on Saturday.

Cheikhou Kouyate pounced in injury time to secure a 2-2 draw for the Hammers after Nathan Redmond appeared to have won it for the visitors seven minutes earlier.

Speaking to Norwich City TV after the final whistle, Neil praised his team's performance even though they had the maximum reward snatched from their grasp at the death.

"There's always going to be disappointment when you're leading with a minute to go, but if you look at the game all-in-all I thought we were excellent," he said.

"We played some really good stuff and created some good chances, but unfortunately we didn't win the game.

"At this level, if you don't take chances it comes back to haunt you. We didn't clear our lines and they got a goal, something which I'm not sure they deserved.

"We've just played a team that's beaten three of the top teams in the league though, and in large spells of the game we showed that we were better than them."

Neil revealed that he'd told Redmond that he would have an impact on Friday, despite dropping him to the bench ahead of kick-off.

The England Under-21s winger fired home his third goal of the campaign, with his boss commenting: "I actually told him yesterday when I left him out that he was going to win us the game today, and he was a bit unfortunate that he didn't.

"He was in good form at the start of the season but I think in his last couple of games, I don't think he's been at the levels that he would expect from himself.

"I chose to make him an impact player today for us, and he certainly did that."

The Canaries have lost just two of their opening seven Barclays Premier League matches - but Neil hasn't been surprised by their promising early-season form.

"We're a good side and we don't fear teams. We're going to go and try and do as well as we can in every game," he added.

"We should get enjoy it, get behind them and keep supporting them."

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