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Norwich fans taunt Sunderland with chant | Stadium of Light faithful makes dig at Alex Neil

Norwich City fans took to taunt Sunderland with a chant while the Stadium of Light faithful also makes a dig at Alex Neil.

The Canaries came away with all three points at the Stadium of Light thanks to that late Josh Sargent goal, making it a third victory in a row for Norwich.

For Sunderland, the post-Alex Neil era begins with defeat despite a good performance where the ball just wouldn’t go in, and decisions going against them.

The hosts had the opening chance in a first half they dominated at, Ellis Simms miscued a header from Alex Pritchard’s cross. This kind of pattern continued with Ross Stewart’s tame aerial effort seven minutes later, then Sargent had City’s first opportunity halfway through the game.

Onel Hernandez set up Sargent after Kieran Dowell’s long pass, but could saw his effort go into Anthony Patterson’s chest.

Sargent saw another chance go begging, exchanging a one-two with Dowell, before Hanley was forced into two goal-line clearances – first from Corry Evans and then Pritchard.

Simms then smashed the ball against the woodwork after Stewart had done the same to tee-up Pritchard, powering his header into the ground but seeing it bounce away from danger.

Against the run of play, the Dean Smith’s side then broke the deadlock, substitute Aaron Ramsey finding Sargent for a tap-in after Marcelino Nunez had slipped him through.

The win means City’s first away points of the season, with a trip to Birmingham City coming up next Tuesday.

Throughout the game, Sunderland fans could be heard singing “Fuck Alex Neil”, but up until their side conceded, Norwich fans in the away end then took to having a laugh at the home side’s expense, saying “Alex Neil, he left cause you’re shit!”

Norwich’s Dean Smith: “It was a very, very hard-fought win and the resilience we showed pleased me the most. We got some really good blocks in and put our bodies on line to keep the ball out of the net and sometimes you have to do. We had to withstand some pressure at times, which I expected. The fans did really well for their team today and got them up for it.

“They pressed us and galvanised their team and Sunderland pressed and harassed us and they carried out their game plan really well. Whenever we countered we didn’t get up the pitch quick enough. When they broke us we had to defend well and the two centre-halves did very well. Grant got a couple of quality blocks in. He is a really good leader of people and he shows what he is all about on the pitch as well.”

Before kick off, Sunderland’s sporting director Kristjaan Speakman said the club have offered Alex Neil new terms and doesn’t think they could have done much more to keep him.

The 41-year-old Scot left Wearside on Friday and is set to finalise his move to Stoke City to take over the vacant manager’s job at the bet365 Stadium.

Neil was on a rolling 12-month contract at Sunderland and was offered fresh terms before this week’s events.

Speaking to Sky Sports ahead of the Black Cats’ match against Norwich, Speakman was asked if more could have been done to keep Neil.

“I don’t believe so,” he replied.

“We had a really, really well-structured contract for when he moved into the Championship and had the appropriate uplifts.

“We had a discussion in the summer because we wanted to reward him and provide a well done. That contract was redrawn up and discussed and that was only signed four weeks ago.

“Obviously on yesterday’s news, naturally on wanting to retain that coach and retain that person within our football club, we’ve made another move to offer another set of terms and just unfortunately it doesn’t appear that will be enough for him to stay.”

Neil’s first-team assistant Martin Canning is set to take charge of the side while Neil is in discussions with Stoke, which was confirmed by a Sunderland press release on Friday.

“At present it’s the same as last night with the press release,” added Speakman.

“All my focus has been around the game so I’m sure the club will be updating supporters and the general public in due course when that information changes.”

When asked why this had been allowed to happen, Speakman said: “I understand the question. And I understand the scrutiny that comes from supporters and the fact that they want to understand the context from it.

“I think it would be remiss of me at this moment to start delving into it when the process is still ongoing and not yet at a conclusion.

“What we would rather do is stay silent on that at present and then be transparent with the supporters after this has all settled down.”

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