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6 January 2017

The manager's Emirates FA Cup preview...

ALEX Neil says it will be clear from his selection on Saturday that he wants to ensure progress in the Emirates FA Cup, even though he admits that the league is City's priority.

The Canaries entertain Premier League Southampton at Carrow Road (3pm) for a place in the fourth round of the historic competition.

With his team playing catch-up in the Sky Bet Championship, however, Neil made his ultimate objective plain at Friday's pre-match press conference.

"I want to be clear about it: the league is our priority," he said. "We really need to make sure we get ourselves up the league.

"I've said this in all the cups, our main priority has been the league and improving that but we want to win the game and that will be reflected in the team.

"You'll look at the team and you'll know that we want to win. I think I made 11 changes at Everton (in the EFL Cup), it won't be anything like that. If anything, it'll be a couple here or there.

"They've (Southampton) got a semi-final first leg on Wednesday as well, which in my eyes would take priority.

"It's an opportunity for them to get to a final, so I certainly think they'll be freshening the team up."

City followed up their New Year's Eve draw at Brentford with a convincing 3-0 victory over Derby County two days later, and Neil wants to build on the platform created against the Rams.

He added: "The one thing I will say is that Derby had been in unbelievable form, they had beaten us at their place but it could have been six or seven nothing with the amount chances we created.

"It had a different feel to it, that's the best that I can say. Is that going to continue into the next ones? I really hope so and there's no reason why it shouldn't."

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