City boss serious about the cup as Millers test awaits his teamNORWICH City won’t be taking their foot off the gas for Tuesday’s Capital One Cup Second Round tie against Rotherham United, says manager Alex Neil.
The Canaries enter the competition with a trip to the New York Stadium, four months to the day after the two sides met in a crucial Sky Bet Championship encounter that finished 1-1.
While City have made a promising start to life back in the Premier League, Rotherham have struggled in the second tier and remain winless – but Neil says he will field a strong team for the 7.45pm kick-off as he targets progression.
“Everybody wants a cup run if you can get one; it’s one of those ones where you want to get by without any injuries and put in a decent performance,” he told reporters at Colney on Monday.
“We’ll be putting out a strong squad and we’re going to be trying to win the game.
“It’s a one-off competition, and strange things happen in cups. You can’t go with that attitude and underestimate the opposition, as we saw last year when we went there it’s a tough place to go. We have to make sure we’re ready and well prepared.”
The game comes just three days after the Canaries' 1-1 draw with Stoke City, and ahead of their fourth Premier League match of the season; the televised clash with Southampton on Sunday.
Neil feels he has the squad depth available to him to dovetail a cup charge with the regular league campaign, however.
“I’d like to think we could balance the league and a cup run. The fact that we have in excess of twenty-odd players and I’d like to think they’re all more than capable of competing and doing well,” he added.
“Since I’ve been here, I’ve used more or less all the players in one game or another so they’re all more than capable of playing at the level they’re at now. I’ll be looking to make sure we use as many of them as we can.
“I think if you’re making changes it’s important to not make too many changes to the detriment of the team because of wanting to have them playing football.
“Obviously attitude is a big thing, we need to go there focussed, treat it like any other game and be desperate to win and to put in a good performance.”
On his counterpart at Rotherham, he commented: “Steve’s record is fantastic if you look at it – in terms of what he’s done, where he’s taken them, it’s all credit to him.
“There’s not that much at stake this time compared to last time, that much is obvious, but Rotherham haven’t started as well as they would’ve hoped and will want to get back to winning ways to regain that confidence, and we want to maintain our form of scoring and we don’t want that to dip with a game on Sunday.”