Alex Neil in no doubt Norwich City will win their Premier League relegation fight
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Pride rather than pay packets is driving Norwich City to try and win their Premier League survival fight.
Alex Neil knows the potential cost of relegation ahead of a bumper new broadcast deal this summer and the expected salary cuts likely to be triggered a by a swift return to the Championship.
'I don't pay too much thought to the money side. For me it is not about money, it is about pride and fighting for your club and retaining your status,' said Neil. 'For a coach or a manager or a player it is about everything else but the money because you only have the one career.
'We know next season the finances come into play even more so. That will make the divide probably a bit bigger between the Championship and the Premier League. For us to grow as a club we have had a taste of this but we need to try and consolidate and then push on. We don't want to be a team flirting with relegation every season. Even in the previous Premier League seasons, when the club finished in mid-table, they were only safe with a game or two to go. It has always been a battle and a struggle.'
Neil knows the stakes are high, starting with Saturday's penultimate home game against Manchester United.
'It has as much riding on it as any game I have been involved in since I have been here,' he said. 'It is not win or bust but we are running out of games so this is crunch time now. This game is absolutely crucial for us going forward.
'I remember going into the play-offs last year and I didn't have even half a per cent feeling of doubt. I've got that feeling now again. I just hope the players do. It is all well if I believe but they have to share that as well.
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'Is this the most important period of my career? I think it is. What happened in the past no-one really cares about. That is no longer important. This is the biggest game of our lives because it is the most relevant and it is going to shape our future. This one has as much if not more so riding on it than Sunderland last time at home. The pressure and expectation is there inside the camp and outside.'