PNE face an angry Canaries

The Norwich players had their angry heads on after a midweek draw with Fulham cost them the Championship top spot.
Graham Dorrans celebrates after scoring the opener in Tuesday's 2-2 draw at FulhamGraham Dorrans celebrates after scoring the opener in Tuesday's 2-2 draw at Fulham
Graham Dorrans celebrates after scoring the opener in Tuesday's 2-2 draw at Fulham

Two first-half penalties from Graham Dorrans had the Canaries seemingly cruising towards victory on Tuesday night at Craven Cottage.

Had they hung on to that lead, Norwich would have stayed at the summit ahead of Preston’s visit to Carrow Road.

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Two Fulham goals pegged them back though, and it is Newcastle who now lead the division.

“Am I angry with them? They are angry with themselves because they know how much it means,” said Norwich manager Alex Neil. “It was not a case of me being angry with them.

“We were all frustrated because at 2-0 up against anyone, especially away from home, you should see it out.

“At half-time I told them not to sit back, to get up and press them as high as we could and get after the ball because we got some joy at that before the break.

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“ That is what we wanted to do. We didn’t get to the ball as quickly as we needed to.

“We didn’t win our 50:50 battles and we didn’t shut off lines and it cost us.

“I thought we started well for the first five minutes after the interval but we didn’t play away from pressure.

“The strange thing is once we conceded the second goal we clicked into gear again and looked a lot more threatening.

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“In about 10 or 15 games it might feel like a good point but right now it is two dropped.”

Midfielder Dorrans had doubled his goals tally for the campaign with the two spot-kicks.

“It definitely felt like a game that got away from us,” said the Scotsman.

“We were disappointed in the changing room. We went in at half-time 2-0 up, so to come in after the game without three points is disappointing.

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“But in the second half I don’t think we played well enough.

“We didn’t start it well enough and they pushed us back.

“It was a bit strange that we were under a lot of pressure and they got the two goals, and then once they got the two goals we started to play again.

“But it was probably a bit late by then.

“It’s a difficult league and we know that. But I think we need to finish the game how we start it.

“We just need to stay positive, it’s an away point. We go again on Saturday against Preston and hopefully 
we can go and get the three points.

“Then seven points from this week is not a bad return.”

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Norwich are targeting an immediate bounce back to the Premier League after being relegated in May.

They had lasted one season in the top flight, having been promoted via the play-offs the day after PNE had beaten Swindon at Wembley.

It is no surprise to see them in the top two and despite the disappointment of dropping points at Fulham, their squad should be strong enough to maintain a promotion push.

They kept hold of the bulk of the squad from last season and also recruited, splashing out £8m on midfielder Alex Pritchard from Tottenham and £2.5m on winger Sergi Canos from Liverpool.

Michael McGovern was signed from Neil’s former club Hamilton, the keeper having performed well for Northern Ireland at Euro 2016.

He has gone above John Ruddy in the keeper pecking order.