City boss eager to take momentum into play-offsNORWICH City manager Alex Neil has urged his side to end the regular season strongly ahead of embarking on their Sky Bet Championship play-off campaign.
A final day home meeting with Fulham will act as the precursor to City's mini-season, with the Cottagers set to finish some way clear of the relegation-zone after a testing season.
Speaking to Norwich City TV before Saturday’s game at Carrow Road, Neil stressed the need to build momentum before the matches which will decide the Canaries’ promotion hopes.
“The disappointment of not getting it automatically is done with now so we need to refocus and kick on,” he commented.
“We want to go and win the game, which is how we approach every game. You always want to finish the season on a high, and it’s important the players go into the play-offs with good confidence.
“We’re fully prepared and hopefully we can put a good performance in with it being our last home league game.”
Alex Tettey and Steven Whittaker both missed last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Rotherham United, with the City boss hopeful the duo will be in contention for a return against the Cottagers.
Whittaker’s absence saw Ryan Bennett come into the starting eleven in West Yorkshire, and Neil explained: “It gave me an indication of where he was at.
“It’s important to see some of the other guys because I haven’t really had the opportunity to see them in first team action. Since I’ve been here we’ve needed to win every game to get as high up the league as possible, but the rest of the squad have come through training fine.
“Steven wasn’t quite ready last week, and Alex was in the same boat, but they’re both doing okay. We just had to be careful with them, and if they’re fine to play tomorrow I’m sure they’ll be involved at some stage.”
While City's place in the top six is already confirmed regardless of their result against Fulham, it remains to be seen who they will face in the play-off semi-finals with four teams vying for the final two places.
That means they could come up against either Brentford, Derby, Ipswich or Wolves depending on how events pan out, although Neil stressed: "To be honest it’s out of our hands because it depends on other results so we’ll just take it as it comes.
“We’ve got to take care of ourselves, so we’ll try to win our last home league game of the season and see what happens from there. Hopefully we’ll play as well as we possibly can then carry that into the play-offs.
“If you look at Fulham they’ve got a lot of technical players, and are very good middle-to-front, so we’re going to have our work cut out. However, if we play to our full potential there’s no reason why we can’t win the game.”