Skip to main content

Poor defending cost Norwich against Newcastle - Neil

Norwich City manager Alex Neil blamed poor and disjointed defending for his side's 6-2 defeat to Newcastle United, accepting blame for Alex Tettey's substitution.

Georginio Wijnaldum scored four times while Aleksandar Mitrovic and Ayoze Perez were also on target in an action-packed Premier League affair at St James' Park.

Dieumerci Mbokani and Nathan Redmond had given Norwich hope in the first half but poor defending from the visitors ultimately cost Neil's men with three of the goals coming after defensive midfielder Tettey was withdrawn 62 minutes in.

"It's difficult, conceding six goals is never nice," he told reporters.

"Everybody is really frustrated and disappointed, the game really split into two offensively and defensively.

"Offensively I thought we looked a real threat - scored two goals, hit the post twice, could have scored more but defensively as a group I thought we were poor and we got hurt.

"We tried to force the issue at 3-2 but at half-time it could have been 5-5. At 3-2 I felt if we got the next goal we could have won the game.

"I thought we started the second half really well but then we conceded the goal and I took the decision to take Alex off [for Wes Hoolahan].

"We were losing anyway and there's no point trying to safeguard what you've got because you haven't got anything and it cost us a couple of goals.

"I'll take the responsibility for that but the squad know we have to take responsibility as a group because we didn't defend anywhere near well enough."

Norwich are now winless in four league matches after a solid start to life back in the top flight.

"[The players] get home truths after every game, whether they've played well or not," Neil added.

"That will remain the same, we'll go through it and pick out the bits that were poor and the bits were good.

"It's difficult after a game like that. It's easy to say it shouldn't have been a 6-2 scoreline but when you defend as poorly as that it's always going to be tough.

"The pace they have on the counter-attack really caused us issues."