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10:00 13th January 2016

by Ben Mouncer

City boss on Britannia Stadium trip

WEDNESDAY's visit to Stoke City is a key game for the Canaries, says manager Alex Neil.

Norwich head into the match on the back of consecutive Premier League wins over Aston Villa and Southampton, victories that leave them 15th in the table leading into the midweek fixture programme.

When speaking to Norwich City TV on Monday, Neil asserted the importance of picking up a result against Mark Hughes' Potters.

"Stoke on a Wednesday night away from home - it's going to be one of those games where it's not going to be a glamorous game," he said.

"But these are the types of games where three points are absolutely crucial, so we've got to attack it and approach it as such."

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City should have earned maximum points when the two sides met at Carrow Road, a game that finished 1-1 after a heroic goalkeeping display from Stoke's Jack Butland.

Hughes' team have picked up since then, however, and Neil is aware of the threat they will pose.

"They're a good side. I think the biggest difference that they've made is their front three," he added.

"The rest of their team is relatively similar to what it has been, but their front three really give them a threat at the top end of the pitch.

"We have to make sure that eliminate that threat and then build on that for us going forward."

Neil spoke for the first time since Lewis Grabban completed a move to Bournemouth and explained the transfer from his point of view.

"Lewis wasn't involved for us, he wasn't in the squads. We felt we got to a stage where the money we were being offered for him was extremely good value," he commented.

"It certainly makes sense and it allows us to use that money to reinvest. Lewis had run his course at Norwich and the value Bournemouth had for him wasn't going to come from anyone else."

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