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Match Previews

ALEX NEIL'S SOUTHAMPTON PREVIEW

17 January 2017

Boss speaks ahead of two games in four days

MOUNTING injury problems have led to Alex Neil being honest in outlining his priorities ahead of Wednesday's Emirates FA Cup replay at Southampton (7.45pm).

Nelson Oliveira's suspension plus an injury picked up by Jonny Howson at the weekend have added to Neil's squad concerns for their trip to St Mary's.

A televised fourth round home tie against Arsenal awaits the victors, but Neil admits he has to consider Saturday's visit of Wolves in his preparations.

He told reporters on Tuesday: "I think the Southampton game is going to be one in itself.

"It's a cup tie and we've got an absolutely crucial game at the weekend in the league. I've not shied away from this question before, the league is our main priority.

"I'm not treating this game any differently to the Everton game, where we went and won 2-0. The only thing that's different is at that stage I had most of my players fit.

"In this game we want to go there and do as well as we can, but Saturday's game is of real importance to us."

Last Saturday's defeat at Rotherham was the Canaries' ninth in 13 matches in all competitions, dropping them to 11th place in the Sky Bet Championship.

Neil believes a positive consistency in performance and results will get frustrated supporters back onside, adding: "Ultimately they will have their opinion, and the only way to alter that is to play as well as they would expect and to win games.

"The simple fact is, I don't think the fans reacted because we lost the game at Rotherham, it's because we've been on a difficult and poor run that they've had a frustration.

"It's the lack of consistency too. Within that run, we've had some really performances but we can't fluctuate from being really good to being poor.

"Our threshold should be really good to holding our own, that should be the worst we get."

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