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29 April 2016

City boss previews trip to the Emirates

Alex Neil says City are ready for battle as they get set for their decisive run of Premier League matches, the first of which comes against Arsenal this Saturday (5.30pm).

The Canaries have had two weeks without a game since suffering the blow of a 3-0 defeat to relegation rivals Sunderland at Carrow Road.

That result, along with the Black Cats' subsequent goalless draw with City's opponents this weekend, has seen Neil's team drop into the bottom three - but he insists that now is the moment to pull together.

"The bottom line is that we're in a fight and we need to come out fighting," he told Norwich City TV at Colney Training Centre on Friday.

"There's been a lot of negativity as you can imagine, obviously with the fact that we were four points clear and now we're not, but this isn't the time to give up. It's the time to roll our sleeves up.

"We've been training hard and making sure that we're ready for the game, we need to make sure we go to Arsenal and give a good performance."

Despite the disappointment of consecutive defeats against close rivals, Neil still maintains belief that his team have what it takes to pick up the required points from their remaning matches.

He says they can also take heart from performances away from home against the top sides this season - positive results were picked up at Liverpool and Manchester United, while they were also denied by late goals at Manchester City and Leicester City.

"What you've got to bear in mind is that there are four games left," he added. "Although people will see this one as being difficult, we've actually not done too badly on our travels against the bigger teams.

"They (Arsenal) seem to be a team where at this moment in time, their fans seem a bit restless. I think they'll manage to secure a place in the top four again, but we've just got to focus on us.

"Certainly in the Man Utd game, we went there and carried out a really good gameplan. We're hoping we can play as well and they won't lack belief.

"Hopefully we can replicate that, and then we have two home games. If we manage to do the business in them, then it gives us a good chance."

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