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20 April 2017

City caretaker boss on the visit of Brighton

CITY's players will be motivated by their own ambitions when they host title-chasing Brighton and Hove Albion on Friday night, says Interim Head Coach Alan Irvine.

The Canaries will prolong the Seagulls' wait for the Sky Bet Championship crown with a draw or victory in the televised clash at Carrow Road (7.45pm).

Irvine - who has impressed with the visitors' progress this term - insists his players will be focused on their objective of following on from Easter Monday's win at Preston North End.

"We want to win this game and we want to win it for us, rather than to stop Brighton achieving what they want to achieve," he told Norwich City TV.

"We'll go about our work as professionally as we possibly can. We've got to move the ball quickly that's for sure, they're really well organised.

"They have real threats when they're on the ball, they have players at the top end of the pitch who have done well all season.

"Our results overall this season have been very good at Carrow Road, though, and we want to continue that."

Brighton secured Premier League football for next season with their 2-1 victory over Wigan Athletic on Monday, those three points taking them to 92 for the campaign.

Irvine praised the work of former City manager Chris Hughton when assessing the challenge for his side under the lights on Friday.

"It's vital that we get some consistency now but clearly we've got an extremely difficult task next," he said.

"Brighton are undoubtedly going to go to try and win the Championship and I've got a lot of respect for what Chris has done there, I think they've been excellent all season and it's a test for us.

"I'm sure they would have had a great night after it was confirmed that they would be promoted, but I'm also sure that they'll be fully focussed on now taking it the next step forward."

Skipper Russell Martin will clock his 300th appearance for City if selected against his hometown club and Irvine hailed the centre-back's longevity.

"It's a marvellous achievement," he said. "It's not something that happens very often these days and it's something that's becoming even rarer.

"He can be very proud of what he's done for this club, on and off the pitch."

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