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Match Previews


12 December 2016

Boss on ensuring improvements this Tuesday

ALEX Neil is determined that City learn from the weekend as they make their final preparations to take on Aston Villa this Tuesday (7.45pm).

A poor first half against Barnsley on Saturday cost Neil's men as they slipped to defeat, their sixth in their last seven Sky Bet Championship matches.

He says frank discussions have taken place in the wake of the setback at Oakwell, and that he's expecting a response in midweek.

"For the first 45 minutes we didn't compete and that was the downfall of the game," Neil told Norwich City TV.

"It was nothing to do with tactics or the football in general, we just didn't fight or scrap or do the ugly side of the game well enough. It's something we've spoken about at length.

"First of all you can have maximum effort over a 90 minute game quite easily. That's certainly a starting point.

"We're looking forward to the Tuesday game now because we know we've got to respond."

Villa, who were relegated from the Premier League alongside the Canaries last season, are on the road to recovery after a slow start to the campaign under Roberto Di Matteo.

Steve Bruce has since replaced the Italian in the hotseat, and Neil knows they will come up against a much-improved outfit at Carrow Road.

"It will be a difficult game, they're a big, strong, physical team, and they've put some decent result together," he added. "There's certainly been an improvement defensively from them since Steve's gone in there.

"They drew a lot of games earlier in the season and conceded a lot of late goals, whereas that seems to have stopped. It allows them to pick up more points.

"It's going to be a tough match, but we're more than capable if we do what we can."

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