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2 April 2016

City beat Newcastle with last-minute Olsson strike

ALEX Neil hailed his side's dramatic 3-2 win over Newcastle United as their best of the season.

Martin Olsson's low drive in stoppage time gave the Canaries the lead for the third time in the match - and this time they held on for a precious three points in the Premier League survival race.

Timm Klose had nodded City in front on the brink of half-time, before a topsy-turvy second half that saw Aleksandar Mitrovic score, Dieumerci Mbokani restore Norwich's advantage and then Mitrovic convert a late penalty.

When asked if it was his team's most important victory since the play-off final triumph over Middlesbrough, Neil answered: "I think with what was at stake in this game, then yes.

"Games are running out now and this was one up against somebody who was right next to you in the table. For whatever team that could win it, it was going to be a massive three points."

The win was City's second in a row after they beat West Bromwich Albion prior to the international breal, and Neil felt they merited it despite twice being pegged back after the break.

"First of all I thought we played really well in the game," he told Norwich City TV.

"We took the lead on two separate occasions which I thought was deserved as we were the better side, but then when it goes to 2-2 I'm thinking it's somehow going to end up a draw.

"But credit to the players. The spirit I've been speaking about for the last three or four weeks was seen right up until the last minute, and they managed to get their goal. They thoroughly deserved it."

Neil, who revealed post-match that captain Russell Martin missed out through an injury sustained on Friday, praised the tenacity of his group as they gather momentum for the rest of the campaign.

He added: "We've picked up seven points from our last three games, and in the last three or four games before that we were playing well and deserved to pick up points.

"Hopefully what it does do is give what I was saying a bit of credence, rather than people thinking I was talking nonsense!

"I've seen it coming for a little bit. I think the boys have been playing well, you can see how much it means to them. They live and breathe Norwich and I'm delighted for them."

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