“The hard work starts now.”
That’s the view of Norwich City boss Alex Neil as he readies his team for their final assault at Sky Bet Championship promotion.
Once the March international break is over, the Canaries face seven matches that will shape their destiny, starting with a trip to Brighton & Hove Albion on Good Friday.
With just three points separating them from league leaders Bournemouth, Neil says City have given themselves a chance after being outside the playoff places on his appointment as manager in January.
“Realistically, I’m not sure automatic (promotion) was on the cards. However, we knew if we gained a bit of momentum, we could have crept in,” he told City360.
“At this stage now it’s certainly up for grabs with seven games to go. There’s no reason why we can’t be one of the top two and it’s about how much we want to get promoted as a group.
“The hard work starts now; everything we’ve done to this point has given us an opportunity.
“That opportunity when I took over wasn’t really there if I’m being honest because we were 12 to 13 points away at one stage.”
The Canaries’ improvement has left them firmly in the promotion mix but with eight teams still harbouring ambitions of breaking into the top two, Neil is aware that he will need to extract the maximum from his group of players and staff to take the advantage.
“It’s a great challenge for everyone. It’s going to take everything we’ve got, from everyone. It’s not just from individuals, but from every single person in the group. We’re going to have to be pulling the one way and showing what we’re made of,” he added.
“It’s about them having belief in what I’m telling them to do, and also me giving them the belief that if they do it they’ll win.
“I’m more than confident that will be the case and I think you can see from the players that they’re buying into that.
“They’ve proven that if they continue to perform at their highest level there’s no question that we’ll win games.”
Alex Neil was speaking to City360, our exclusive behind-the-scenes documentary of Norwich City's 2014-15 season. Look out for the next episode, which is set to go live on Friday, 10 April.Watch the teaser for episode four below:
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