Norwich City manager, Alex Neil didn’t think his team showed enough of the right stuff until they found themselves 2-0 down at Villa Park on Saturday.
Neil has watched his side concede 19 goals in their last six games and ended the day by saying ‘It’s about them showing some balls now.’
When asked if the Norwich had showed enough character, Neil told TalkSport: “Not until we were 2-0 down.
“If you watch the Premier League they shouldn`t need building up. That`s motivation in itself. Nobody wants to feel the pain of relegation. I`ve got two promotions back-to-back and the last thing I want to do is go back.
“I`ve been used to winning and when you start losing it`s difficult to handle. It`s not nice. You want to fight, you need the players to do that. They have to show that passion.
“What we have to do is make sure we have enough bottle to respond. If you are that fragile and your confidence is hurt because you`ve lost a couple of games you`re in the wrong game.”
In another interview, talking to the EDP, the City boss spoke more of his disappointment.
“I have two promotions on my CV and the last thing I want to do is go back to the Championship,” he said.
“It is not a trial for me. This is the situation, you have to make the most of it. I am extremely disappointed. I have been working hard to get us into a better place and unfortunately at the moment we are not doing that. All you can is prepare the players as best as you can and hope the players provide the quality on the pitch.
“These boys are Premier League footballers. If you want to stay in the league you shouldn`t need building up. That should be your motivation right there. We worked so hard last year for this opportunity and no-one wants to feel the pain of relegation.”
Seb Bassong had a golden opportunity to open the scoring from Robbie Brady’s cross. A effort that he could only head down and over Mark Bunn’s goal. It was a chance that could’ve changed the game said Neil.
“We had opportunities in the match,” he said. “Seb had a good chance with a header he should have done better with, but I think the story of the game for us is if you are not going to defend your box well enough you get punished. The first one is a set piece and the second one is just another mistake in judgement and we concede the second goal and that is always going to be tough.
“We threw caution to the win, put a lot of attacking players on and had good chances around their box, but ultimately it wasn`t enough. Until we went 2-0 down we didn`t show enough. If Seb scores the header then the game changes, it gives us some momentum and confidence.
“In these type of games, with the pressure that is on them, they are decided on fine margins. I am sure Aston Villa have played better and lost. We have certainly played not as good as today and won. It is critical moments where you take a chance or don`t concede one. We didn`t look under pressure at any stage.”