Alex Neil blames poor decision-making and defending as Norwich squander two-goal lead

Norwich manager Alex Neil

It was a game of two halves in London and Norwich City manager Alex Neil believes his side need to do better.

Scott Parker of Fulham and Martin Olsson of Norwich City

Norwich City manager Alex Neil blamed his side's draw against Fulham on bad decision-making and a poor defensive effort as they blew a two-goal lead to take a share of the points.

The Canaries headed to Craven Cottage having not won a match there since 1986 and Fulham were able to deny them again as Norwich academy graduate Chris Martin netted a second-half brace to salvage a point for the hosts.

Kevin McDonald of Fulham and Graham Dorrans of Norwich City

Speaking to Norwich City TV after the match, Neil said: "We came with a plan to keep ourselves compact.

"The aim was to be difficult to beat and hit them on the break. We worked it so perfectly in the first half to be 2-0 up and it could have been more than that.

"We then started the second half well but for whatever reason we failed to absorb the pressure.

"Our use of the ball at times was poor and to concede the two goals that we did is extremely disappointing."

Norwich have now conceded 10 goals in seven league games on the road, including four at St James' Park when they squandered a 3-2 lead by allowing Newcastle United to score two late goals in the dying minutes of the game.

Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic

For Fulham, however, it signalled an upturn in fortune as before the international break the team had lost four of their last seven matches and had not taken the full points in any of them.

Since returning, the Cottagers have beaten Barnsley 4-2 and now held the leaders to a draw.

The result meant Norwich slipped from the top of the table down to second place, as Newcastle sneaked ahead by a point with their win at Barnsley.

Graham Dorrans of Norwich City scores their first goal from the penalty spot

And Neil believes their only chance to ensure they stay in contention at the top is to step up their defensive game.

"If you want to gain promotion, you need to absorb pressure at times," he added.

"You're not going to dominate the ball all the time and the fact we failed to do that is really frustrating.

"It's bad decision-making at crucial stages in games, so we're frustrated and disappointed. Defensively we need to do better as a team."

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