Alex Neil pleased with Norwich reaction

Norwich boss Alex Neil was thrilled with the reaction of his players as they came from behind to beat Nottingham Forest 2-1 at the City Ground.

Nottm Forest: Alex Neil pleased with Norwich reactionNottm Forest: Alex Neil pleased with Norwich reaction

Apostolos Vellios’ third goal in three games had put Forest ahead in the 40th minute as he swept home after an Eric Lichaj header had hit a post.

But Jonny Howson scrambled Norwich level in the 52nd minute before an outstanding strike from Graham Dorrans in the 66th minute earned them a third consecutive victory, bolstering their position as one of the favourites for promotion from the Sky Bet Championship.

Neil admitted it was just the response he wanted and had asked for in the dressing room at half time.

He said: “I just questioned them. I asked them how much they wanted it. Did they want to go on and win this game?

“I told them that if they were going to win the game they were going to have to want it more than Forest.

“It is crucial to get that first goal. But, if you do not get it, you cannot just let yourself go out with a whimper. You have to fight for it.

“I asked them for that and they gave me that and more. I thought in the second 45 minutes the fans must have enjoyed that because our performance was much better.

“All you can ask for is for players to respond to negativity; to bounce back against challenges like being 1-0 down at half time.

“The response we saw from the players was really, really good. We did not ride our luck, we were really good. They had one clear header – which is why we put more height into our side off the bench late on.”

Reds head coach Philippe Montanier was disappointed to see his side slip to their first home defeat of the season – and also with the manner of their performance.

“I was disappointed because we have lost for the first time at home and we had been winning 1-0 at half-time,” said Montanier.

“Norwich are one of the top teams in the Championship and we needed to be at a higher level. We were a little timid with the ball and also in defence. We made things too easy for them.

“After the penalty save we had a good reaction and we took the lead. We wanted to keep playing in the same way.

“We had a good reaction right at the end but we wanted to see that before the end of the game.

“We wanted that reaction before we saw it. We did not put our opportunities away. We did not choose our passes well; we did not create enough opportunities to score.

“It is disappointing but our performance was not sufficient against a good team like Norwich.”

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