Alex Neil described Norwich’s victory over Aston Villa as their “most important of the season” before revealing he expected a greater points tally than they presently have.
The Canaries’ fifth league victory of the season, following goals from Jonny Howson and Dieumerci Mbokani, leaves them with a total of 20 points from their first 19 games, halfway to the tally usually required to avoid relegation.
But Neil had hoped to be an even stronger position by now.
“The games snowball between now and the end of the season,” he said. “Every game’s going to become more and more important. If you do pick points up it’s great, it sees you clear of trouble. If you don’t, then the next game becomes even bigger.
“The next 19 are going to be huge, but today has probably been our biggest game, because it takes us to that 20-point mark at halfway, and I still think there’s more to come.
“I wouldn’t have taken (this) at the start of the season. We’re probably maybe three or four points off where I think we should be, based on some of the games we’ve played so far, but that gives me optimism for the next half of the season because I think we can do better.”