Neil delighted to see Grabban justify his selection

Date published: Sunday 29th November 2015 7:53

Alex Neil: Turnaround due to players' desire

Alex Neil was full of praise for Lewis Grabban after the striker earned Norwich City a 1-1 draw against Arsenal on his first Premier League start since the opening weekend of the season.

The 27-year-old had been suspended by the Canaries after refusing to be a substitute in a Capital One Cup tie back in August.

Former club Bournemouth had bids rejected as they looked to lure him back to the south coast and, although he ultimately remained a Norwich player, he was rarely given the opportunity to feature.

However, he got his chance against Arsenal on Sunday and responded with the equalising goal in a 1-1 draw at Carrow Road.

“If it doesn’t go to plan and we lost I would probably get criticised for putting him in,” Neil said of his decision to start the forward.

“At the end of the day management is about making decisions you think are right when everyone else thinks it is wrong.

“He gives me work-rate, will run the channels and retain it really well. Every player goes out there with something to prove. There was more of an edge to him and his game today, that is what he is able to do.”

Neil, who could have been celebrating a famous win had Wes Hoolahan buried an easy chance on half-time that he instead ballooned over the crossbar, said everyone has moved on from the unsavoury incident.

“Really simple,” he said when asked how easy it had been to put the event behind him.

“It has been fine. I have a good relationship with him, if anyone breaks the rules or does something they shouldn’t they will be punished, it hasn’t been an issue, we have moved on. Because that happened he put himself behind others in the pecking order and that is why he hasn’t been involved – but I thought this game suited his attributes.”

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