Shackles are off Norwich City midfielder Nathan Redmond ahead of Premier League run-in
06:30 19 February 2016
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Alex Neil is ready to take the shackles off Nathan Redmond to spark Norwich City’s push for Premier League survival.
Redmond is still the club’s joint top scorer in the league this season, with four goals, but last found the net in the 6-2 defeat at Newcastle on October 18.
The 21-year-old’s clever back heel sparked the move that led to Norwich’s second goal in last weekend’s 2-2 draw against West Ham, and Neil wants to see more of that quality where it counts on the run-in.
“I think it was a symptom of the fact during the bad run we have focused on what we do without the ball and trying to keep clean sheets so maybe we are asking Nathan to do something that is not his strength, by dropping him into a deeper area and asking him to break from there,” said Neil.
“I think for me his strength and quality is when he is further up the pitch. We have to try and give him that licence with the way we shape up the team.”
Redmond was a key figure in Norwich’s successful Championship promotion push 12 months ago and Neil insists his squad can draw on that experience to handle the pressure.
“It is not too dissimilar from being at the top end of the table, because every game seems bigger than the last one,” he said.
“Perhaps the only difference is the confidence of the players is more fragile because you are not winning as often. When you are challenging for promotion what happens is when you win the next one is the most important because you need three points to keep your charge going.
“The mentality is probably a bit different but the process remains the same.
“We are confident in what we are striving to do and you could see that in our approach (against West Ham) and the way we tried to attack it.”