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7 May 2016

City suffer damaging defeat at Carrow Road

ALEX Neil bemoaned the recurring deficiencies in his Norwich City team following their 1-0 defeat at the hands of Manchester United.

City had every opportunity to pick up points against a United side who they largely restricted in a match of few opportunities at Carrow Road.

Juan Mata popped up with the 72nd-minute winner, however, leaving the Canaries with it all to do in the Barclays Premier League survival race with just two matches remaining.

"We had some opportunties and didn't take them," said Neil. "We started really well and I thought the shape was good, we limited Manchester United to pretty much nothing.

"Then their first shot on target comes off the back of us making a silly mistake, and it cost us the game. It's why we're in the situation we're in, and the bottom line is that it's not good enough.

"We had opportunities, although I wouldn't say that we created a great deal today but I didn't think Manchester United did either.

"I thought it was a cagey game where both teams recognised the significance of it, arguably we had the best chance but we gifted them a goal."

Neil admits that it will now be a big challenge for the Canaries to pull clear of the bottom three, irrespective of the results in the matches involving Sunderland and Newcastle on Saturday.

"To be a team at this level and compete, you're going to have to limit mistakes across a season. Not only that, you're going to have to create more chances and score when those opportunities arise.

"There are teams in and about us who manage to do that better than us, and that's why we're in the situation we're in.

"I think we've made it really tough for ourselves regardless. If you continue to make bad decisions, then it's not going to be enough."

City look set to be without Jonny Howson for the games against Watford and Everton too, with the midfielder taken off with a knee injury soon after Mata's goal.

"It will be a real blow for us, Jon," he added. "He's opened his knee up, so he's not going to play for the rest of the season. It's part of the game, we just need to get on with it."

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