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2 February 2016

City boss on Spurs defeat

ALEX Neil said the Canaries always had a mountain to climb after conceding early in Tuesday's 3-0 loss against Tottenham Hotspur.

Dele Alli pounced in just the second minute at Carrow Road to set Spurs on their way to a comfortable victory, with the other goals coming from their leading scorer Harry Kane.

City's manager was disappointed with how his team were second best in the decisive first half, even though they improved after the break.

He told Norwich City TV: "After conceding goals last week (against Liverpool), we were working on the back four all week but we just didn't defend our box.

"We managed to clear the first phase but the second phase comes back in, they got a shot at goal and we're three yards inside the player that scores.

"He responds and we stand and watch him. It makes the game tough and difficult after that.

"If you're going to have any ambitions of staying in this league and competing well, we're going to have play better than we did in the first half. It's as simple as that."

FULL-TIME: Norwich City 0-3 Tottenham Hotspur.

— Norwich City FC (@NorwichCityFC) February 2, 2016
Kane's first strike on the half hour mark came from the penalty spot after a refereeing decision that Neil felt was harsh on his side.

Kevin Friend pointed to the spot after adjudging that Sebastien Bassong had felled Dele Alli following Declan Rudd's save from Kane's initial shot.

"We got two decisions in the game that I thought were really poor," Neil said. 

"I thought the penalty was an extremely poor decision. It's probably the weakest I've seen all season. I've seen it back three or four times and I still don't think it's a penalty.

"For their third goal as well, nine times out of ten the defender would get the benefit of the doubt."

Following their fourth league defeat in a row, Neil emphasised the need for City to start picking up points sooner rather than later.

They travel to basement club Aston Villa on Saturday, and he added: "They're all massive games for us.

"The quicker the players realise that - after tonight, if they don't realise that now they won't realise it. We've got some work to do. We need to pull our fingers out and start winning games."

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