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13 December 2016

Manager speaks after City beat Villa at Carrow Road

ALEX Neil saw shades of his promotion-winning team from two seasons ago in his side that beat Aston Villa 1-0 on Tuesday.

The Canaries bounced back from Saturday's setback at Barnsley by grinding out a deserved victory against Steve Bruce's visitors at Carrow Road.

Neil told Norwich City TV afterwards: "I thought we got the perfect response from the players.

"They applied themselves extremely well. I sensed that desperation to win a game tonight, which we had the last time we got promoted.

"We know we can do it. That's where everybody's frustration in coming from. It's about making sure we do it regularly.

"I'm not silly. I know the pressure and expectation that's on me, which is fine because it deserves to be there with these players at this club.

"Tonight, I thought they were excellent. If they perform that way, we'll be fine."

There was little to separate the two teams in a match that lacked inspiration until Nelson Oliveira's match-winning strike just after the hour mark.

City's investment in the former Benfica striker is now paying dividends, with Neil adding: "I knew what I was getting when I signed him.

"Because he hasn't been in the team up until recent weeks, I think people questioned him and me signing him.

"It was always going to take a little bit of time with him, and Cameron (Jerome) was in great form at the start of the season so he's had to bide his time.

"He's scored three in three now though, and in terms of his link up play and his quality - this is a guy who's got 20-odd caps for Portugal. He's a very good player."

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