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ALEX NEIL: WE DIDN'T HANDLE THE OCCASION

4 March 2017

Manager reacts to Saturday's 5-1 loss at Hillsborough

ALEX Neil says his team failed to rise to the occasion after they were humiliated in losing 5-1 to Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.

City knew that a victory at Hillsborough would have brought them to within three points of their hosts but a limp performance means that gap now stands at nine.

Neil told Norwich City TV afterwards: "I think the magnitude of the game was too much for us. We knew the importance of it but we didn't handle the occasion anywhere near well enough.

"Away games are as much about mentality as anything else and I thought we struggled with that. It's not good enough. The first goals were our own doing.
 
 
 
"We made a mistake and got punished, and then for the second one they broke down the side after we gave the ball away.

"A cross comes in, we don't mark the striker and he wins a free header. With the corner, it's a straight pick-up from a set-play and we didn't with it."

Cameron Jerome had given the Canaries brief hope with his first half header but just two minutes later Morgan Fox's effort restored Wednesday's two-goal advantage.

Jordan Rhodes and Fernando Forestieri issued further blows to Neil's men in the second half and he admitted that his side have fallen short in high-stakes match this season.

"We've underachieved, there's no doubt about it," he added. "We aren't where we should be. When it's come to the big games, we've been found wanting.

"That's a shared responsibility between me and the team. Ultimately we've not done enough to put ourselves in a better position than where we are now.

"All I can do is apologise to the fans who made the trip up. It was as hard a viewing for them as it was for me.

"The players are really desponded and disappointed with how they performed and that's tough to take."

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