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14 February 2017

The manager on Newcastle, the players' efforts and Oliveira

ALEX Neil took positives and negatives from his side's display after they played out a thrilling 2-2 draw with Newcastle United on Tuesday.

City fell behind after just 23 seconds when Ayoze Perez capitalised on some sloppy defending, but goals from Jacob Murphy and Cameron Jerome soon had the hosts ahead at Carrow Road.

Jamaal Lascelles snatched a point for the table-topping Magpies towards the end of a tense second half, and Neil spoke to Norwich City TV after the final whistle.

"It's a mixture of emotions really. We started the game extremely poorly, the goal we conceded was poor to say the least from us," he said.

"Our response from that point onwards until half-time was great. We got ourselves in the lead against a good side at this level.

"In the second half we started ok, but as it wore on they put us under more pressure.

"We had quite a few injured tonight, proper first team players. To have five or six out proved to be difficult, but I thought we held on, scrapped and saw the game out."

Neil's players were applauded off the pitch at the end and he added: "I think the fans appreciate that the lads gave everything they can give.

"That's all you can ask as a fan, as a manager or as anything else. I think collectively, we all know what we're trying to do.

"Everybody's putting every effort into doing that, which is pleasing because a few months ago it was a bit disjointed. Everyone's pushing one way."

City's boss confirmed that striker Nelson Oliveira - missing from the matchday squad - is sidelined with a foot injury picked up at the weekend.

When quizzed on the Portuguese striker's fitness, he commented: "We need to get his foot scanned. It happened in the first half (against Nottingham Forest).

"There might be damage with a bone in there. It depends how bad it is, we're probably talking four to six weeks."

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