FA Cup quest will not damage Premier League progress insists Norwich City boss Alex Neil
06:35 08 January 2016
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Norwich City aim to prolong Manchester City’s travel sickness in their FA Cup third round showdown at Carrow Road - but playing the Sky Blues in the Premier League next season remains the priority for Alex Neil.
Manuel Pellegrini’s star-studded title-chasers head to Norfolk having won only one of their last seven away games in all competitions, and fresh from a midweek Capital One Cup semi-final, first leg defeat at Everton. Neil’s side came within minutes of a hard-fought Premier League point when the sides last met before Christmas at the Etihad, and ensuring the Canaries’ survive this season to make a return visit is top of Neil’s agenda.
“Let’s not kid on. The Premier League is the most important thing for us,” he said. “We would like a run in the cup, we want to do well in the FA Cup but the priority will be the Premier League.”
Matt Jarvis may be in line to make his first team return this weekend after suffering a knee injury in October’s 2-1 league defeat in the north-west.
The attacking midfielder became Neil’s first January signing after impressing during the initial part of a loan move from West Ham, scoring two goals in his first seven appearances.
The likes of fellow midfielders Alex Tettey and Nathan Redmond have also weighed in with goals to help ease the pressure on City’s frontline.
“The one thing I always demand is goals from all over the pitch and that was the exact same thing last season when we got promoted,” said Neil. “We are not overly-reliant on one striker, we have goals in the team. Jonny Howson, Vadis (Odjidja), Nathan has got goals, Wes (Hoolahan) is a good creator. We have people in the squad who have chipped in.
“We would like our strikers to get more goals, obviously, but more importantly it is about points and wins. Matt is touch and go for this weekend but I think he might be involved for the game afterwards if he doesn’t make this one.”