Neil: We've got to be on top of our gameNORWICH City cannot afford to reduce their intensity or focus for any of their remaining matches in the Sky Bet Championship promotion race, according to boss Alex Neil.
The Canaries are only a point off the top two after a six-match winning streak, and they will be eager to add to that run against Wigan Athletic at Carrow Road on Wednesday (7.45pm).
Neil has been delighted with the application of his players in recent weeks – but he’s determined to eliminate any factors that could distract them from the job in hand.
“We’re in a good place at the moment, but certainly come tomorrow night it’s going to be another difficult test and they’re going to have to make sure they’re up for the task,” he told Norwich City TV at Colney on Tuesday.
“We’ve got to be on the top of our game, on top of our form, and to work extremely hard. If we do that, we’ve got enough about the squad to make sure that we’re successful between now and the end of the season.
“I think once you get to this stage of the season, there are a lot of freak results that happen. There are teams are the bottom end who are struggling to get wins who seem to put a run together because they’re fighting for their lives.
“I’m well aware of that, the squad will be well aware of that, and we need to make sure that we do a professional job and put as much effort into this game as have been doing in recent matches.”
Cameron Jerome (foot) limped off in the closing stages of Sunday’s East Anglian derby triumph over Ipswich Town but Neil confirmed that he should be fit for the visit of the Latics when giving his latest injury bulletin ahead of the game.
“He should be fine. He trained on Monday, which is a bonus, and hopefully he’ll be in contention to play in the game,” he said.
“I don’t think any of the other lads will come back in. I think most of the squad will be the same as before. Alex Tettey (suspension) will miss a couple of games, which is unfortunate. We’ll just have to do without him and bring someone else into the squad.
“We’re going to have to make sure we use the squad to keep everybody firing on all cylinders. You don’t want anybody getting comfortable. We’ll see what happens with the team on Wednesday.”
City’s boss says the good feeling after the Ipswich win is indicative of the spirit around the Club in recent weeks.
“It’s been like that over the last five or six matches. I think the players have grown in belief and I think you can see that on the pitch as well,” he added.
“Training has been great since I came in. In the first week, you’re obviously just assessing things and since then we’ve upped the ante in terms of the work-rate, and they’ve responded really well to that.
“We’re in a good place at the moment, but that can all be undone with one under-par performance.”
NEXT AT CARROW ROAD
Wigan, Wednesday March 4, 7.45pm
GET YOUR TICKETS