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19 September 2016

Boss looks ahead to Goodison Park trip

TUESDAY's EFL Cup game at Everton offers an opportunity to some of his players to stake a claim, even though Alex Neil admits that the Sky Bet Championship is his priority.

The Canaries make the trip to Goodison Park to take on Ronald Koeman's Premier League high-flyers (7.45pm) after beating Coventry City in Round Two of the competition last month.

Speaking to the media on Monday, Neil commented: "Obviously we want to do well in the cup and win every game we play in, but our priority is the league.

"A lot of the time in the Championship we have three games in a week. It's like that next week for us so that's our priority.

"The teams that we've put out in other rounds in other competitions have been really strong though, and we've got some really strong results.

"Whether we're playing Stockport or whether we're playing Man Utd, it still gives them an opportunity to show what they can do."

Koeman has made an impressive start with the Toffees after switching from Southampton in the summer, taking 13 points from a possible 15 to sit second in the Premier League table.

Everton were invested in by billionaire Farhad Moshiri in February, but Neil believes the improvement under Koeman has come through a refinement of practices.

"I'm not sure the fresh money has made the difference because they had a really strong squad to start with," he added.

"Roberto (Martinez) had them finishing really high in his first season there, but then it ended in a bit of disappointment for him and for them.

"Ronald (Koeman) going in there has given them a bit of impetus, and they've responded well to him.

"They have added to their squad, they've spent some money, but they've got a Premier League squad and they've started the season really well. It will be a good test for us."

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