Premier League drop zone pressure will not get to Norwich City, says Alex Neil
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Alex Neil is adamant slipping back into the Premier League relegation zone is not a major psychological blow to Norwich City’s survival hopes.
The Canaries head to rivals Swansea City this weekend, who pulled off a surprise 2-1 win at title-chasing Arsenal on Wednesday, still smarting from the manner of a controversial 2-1 home defeat to champions Chelsea that sucked them into the bottom three ahead of the final 10 league games.
Norwich have immediately hauled themselves back out on the two previous occasions this season they dropped into the relegation places and Neil expects another positive reaction.
“Our responsibility is to get out of there when the season ends,” he said. “The fact we are now in the bottom three will have no bearing because we have been in and around that area of the table for most of the season. I don’t think psychologically that has any real bearing. We have Swansea Saturday, then Manchester City and then a collection of about five or six matches that will determine where we end up. Those are games against teams in and around us and we are capable of winning those.
“Whether we do or not will be dictated by how we perform but we have to win games, simple as that. We will have a lot that are six pointers, in the sense we can gain three and deny the others three points at the same time.”
Norwich have failed to win any of their last eight Premier League matches but the Scot is drawing on the lessons of history to help inspire his men.
“You find in a lot of seasons there will be a team who have not performed for the majority of a season, find themselves down at the bottom, and then for whatever reason they hit one result or a formation that works for them and they go on a run that takes them clear,” he said. “Sunderland and Leicester spring to mind and I am sure there have been others in recent seasons.
“I feel we have been really unfortunate, not in terms of bad luck, but in making crucial errors at bad times and we haven’t capitalised on good opportunities. When you don’t win as many games as you would like it is going to tough but I think there is a realisation in the Premier League we have a team capable of winning games at this level.”