Boss: The more noise the betterALEX Neil says his Norwich City squad ‘can’t wait’ to go up against Ipswich Town in their mouth-watering play-off semi-final second leg on Saturday (12.15pm).
Last weekend’s 1-1 draw has set up one of the most significant derbies in recent history, with the victor progressing to Wembley where they will compete to earn a Premier League berth for next season.
Speaking exclusively to Norwich City TV 24 hours before kick-off, City’s boss commented: “You want to be part of these big days; you want to make sure you don’t fall at the final hurdle.
“This hurdle for us is the one we need to overcome to make sure we get to the final and ultimately get to Wembley.
“We know exactly what’s coming and we know exactly how we’re going to go about trying to win the game. Now it’s just about performing on the day and making sure we’re completely focussed.
“We’re really determined, really focussed, and now we just can’t wait for it come.”
Carrow Road will be packed out for the lunchtime kick-off, with the Club announcing ahead of the weekend a sell-out on all ground tickets for the Canaries’ final home match of a dramatic Sky Bet Championship campaign.
Neil emphasised the role City’s loyal supporters, who are being urged to arrive early to take part in the build-up, could play in such a high-stakes encounter.
“They will be huge. I’m hoping we can create some noise for the players to get them fired up – they won’t necessarily need that, but every little bit helps,” he said.
“The more noise we can create, to hopefully put a doubt in the Ipswich players’ minds, the better.
“If they get the real backing of the fans, who desperately want it as much as the players are, then we’re all in it together, and certainly if we go down that route we’ve got a better chance.”
City have no fresh injury concerns to deal with leading into the game, with Lewis Grabban set to be the only forced absentee as the striker completes his three-match suspension following his dismissal against Rotherham United.
Neil hinted at an alternative plan from both teams compared to those used at Portman Road, however, adding: “I do expect it to be a slightly different game. I think their approach will be slightly different, the fact that they’re away from home.
“That’s only natural because although you might go in with the same game plan, it never really pans out the exact same away from home compared to when you’re at home.
“I think our approach will be slightly different as well so it should be an interesting match.”