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13 August 2016

Canaries and Owls play out stalemate at Carrow Road

ALEX Neil said his Norwich City side didn't hit the heights they are capable of during Saturday's 0-0 Sky Bet Championship draw with Sheffield Wednesday at Carrow Road.

City's first home fixture of the 2016-17 season saw opportunities at a premium, with both defences firmly on top throughout the contest.

Speaking to Norwich City TV after the game, Neil said: "I don't think we played as well as we would have liked.

"Our retention of the ball is normally a lot better than it was, certainly in the second half. That let us down and meant we didn't have possession often enough to create the chances we would have liked.

"Blackburn was one extreme, and today was another. We didn't get enough passes in the middle of the park to get our full-backs up the pitch.

"That's where our width comes from and because we didn't keep the ball long enough it then became very narrow. In terms of performance, we're looking for a lot better."

Neil's tactical options within the match were limited by first half injuries to Martin Olsson and John Ruddy, resulting in both players having to be replaced.

"It was disappointing as I was only left with one sub," the City boss explained.

"Martin did his hamstring, the same as last week at Blackburn. He trained on Friday and was perfectly fine but unfortunately it's reoccurred today.

"With John, he opened his groin up in the first half and couldn't continue which was a blow. Generally you'd like to try and make an offensive sub but bringing Youssouf [Mulumbu] on solidified us a little bit."

Although disappointed to have not secured victory, a resilient display ensured the Canaries go into Tuesday night's clash with Bristol City with four points from their two league matches played so far.

"The one positive to take is that when we didn't play well, we rolled our sleeves up and managed to get a clean sheet," said Neil.

"There weren't a huge amount of chances for either team; we had as many clear-cut chances as them. We need to bring in a striker to give Cameron [Jerome] a hand.

"That's not news to anybody, we just need to try and get that work done as quickly as we can. We've got good players, it just so happens that we're short in one position."

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