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Alan Neilson: In those key moments the final pass wasn't good enough

Norwich City Under-23s head coach Alan Neilson felt his side didn't look after the ball well enough in their 2-0 home defeat to Fulham.

Norwich City Under-23s head coach Alan Neilson felt his side didn't look after the ball well enough in their 2-0 home defeat to Fulham.

Playing at The Walks Stadium, home of King's Lynn FC, Norwich City had the most clearcut chance of the first half when Tom Dickson-Peters hit the inside of the post, but they gave away the ball to cheaply in the second half and invited pressure which in turn saw Josh Giurgi put the ball into his own net, from a Sonny Hilton free kick before Fulham made sure of the victory with a late goal from Ziyad Larkeche.

"I think it was a very even game," said Alan. "I said in the dressing room afterwards that we should have been coming off with it at 0-0.

"I just don’t think we battled and scrapped enough really. We started off well again. We hit the post, which I thought was in from TDP (Tom Dickson-Peters) but it wasn’t and then there were not too many really clearcut chances for either side in the first half.

"Second half we came out and it was very even, but they pushed us back. We said at half-time we have just got to concentrate and if it finishes 0-0, it finishes 0-0 but we went a bit back to front. We didn’t dominate the ball. We say as a team if we get the ball, and we need a rest, then we rest with the ball, but as the game went on they pressed us and we didn’t really keep the ball and in the very key moments the final pass wasn’t good enough.

"It was the same in defending our box. When the cross came in, it should have been dealt with. I have spoke to Josh Giurgi afterwards and he has said that he was caught in two minds as to whether to head it or kick it, and it has hit his hand and then his leg and it has spun over. We talk about communication and they have got to speak to each other. If it is going to the goalkeeper then let the keeper have it."

Norwich went longer in the second half, looking to exploit Fulham's three at the back formation. However, Alan added that they didn't hold the ball well enough up front which created problems.

"We looked at them and they had gone three at the back and we thought we would go longer but, as I said, we didn’t really hold up well enough and it came back and the forwards had to run backwards. We never really controlled the possession in the game and we didn’t get the rest we normally do when we play our passing football."

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