Tuesday 16 January 2018

Alex Neil hopes to see a rejuvenated Norwich against Everton

Norwich manager Alex Neil is expected a reaction against Everton following a poor display at Watford
Norwich manager Alex Neil is expected a reaction against Everton following a poor display at Watford

Norwich manager Alex Neil is hoping a clear-the-air meeting will help his struggling side get back to winning ways against Everton following their "worst performance" of the season.

The Canaries slumped to a 2-0 defeat at Watford last weekend, which was a sixth reverse in their past eight Barclays Premier League matches.

Only goal difference keeps the promoted club out of the bottom three, leaving little margin for error when Roberto Martinez's men come to Carrow Road for Saturday's televised lunchtime encounter.

Neil is confident, though, the mentality of the squad is right having looked to put the disappointment of what was a toothless display at Vicarage Road behind them with a week of hard graft at Colney.

"When you get a loss and particularly a bad performance, it takes a day or two to shake it off," said Neil at a press conference.

"We like to analyse, go through it and talk about it, sort of vent our feelings, then once that is done it is in the past and we need to move on.

"We will be looking for a response and making sure we are on the front foot."

Neil continued: "It was probably one of the worst performances we have put in this season, and to be honest I did not really see it coming.

"If you look at how we were against Arsenal and then at Watford, it was night and day really, but it is all about getting that consistency level.

"We have to get back to what we are good at and the funny thing with football is that if you win the next game, then none of the rest matters.

"The bottom line is we have not won enough games, so we need to start doing that."

The rookie Scottish coach, though, insists he and his squad have the stomach for the battles ahead.

"Regardless of how good you are, in football you are going to have times which are tough, and that can be the making of you, or you can accept it and roll over, but that certainly wont be the case here," he added.

Neil must decide whether to recall goalkeeper John Ruddy against his former club, or stick with Declan Rudd, who made a first Premier League appearance of the season at Watford.

"They are the two lads competing for the number one slot and I will make my decision," the Canaries boss said.

Norwich tried to bring in Everton midfielder Steven Naismith with an £8million bid ahead of the summer deadline, and will aim to strengthen the squad when the transfer window opens again.

Neil said: "Steven was one we ere looking at in the summer, but that does not mean we are necessarily going to try to sign him in January.

"We have our targets, with our plan in place and will be setting to go about that as best we can."

Press Association

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