Alex Neil is crunching the numbers to plot Norwich City’s Championship promotion bid
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City return to Championship action against Rotherham this weekend striving to stay ahead of Alex Neil's promotion target.
Neil has crunched the numbers and knows picking up an average of two points per game will catapult City back into the Premier League.
City have suffered blips at Birmingham and Newcastle United but welcome the Millers to Carrow Road tomorrow sitting in second spot with 23 points from their first 11 league games.
'Over the years if you look at it, historically, then teams who go up average two points per game. If you do that then 95pc of the teams get promoted,' he said. 'If you look at that then we are well on track, or even just ahead of track. You set yourself targets throughout the season and that is one of them. We had an opportunity to put ourselves ahead of that at Wolves and we managed to do that. The Championship never surprises you. There are always teams who start well and fade, or finish strongly or have a season you wouldn't expect. We have to maintain our form and keep picking up the points.'
City look to carry on where they left off prior to the international break with a hard-fought 2-1 win at Wolves proving the perfect response to a painful Newcastle loss.
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'We are six wins from seven and we were 90 seconds from seven out of seven, if you look at what happened at Newcastle,' said Neil. 'I think it was important we won (at Wolves). When you lose and particularly in the manner we did there is always going to be an over-reaction. Prior to the game we had dropped down the table. Now I know that is not crucial at this stage but we don't want to give these teams any leads on us that we have to chase as the season goes on. We just need to keep a steady head because if we are there in and around Christmas then from there onwards dictates whether you go up or not.'
Neil will deliver a fitness bulletin on Robbie Brady (head) and Timm Klose (ankle) on Friday afternoon after the duo were substituted with inuries on World Cup qualifying duty, but Jonny Howson's omission from the starting line up at Molineux in favour of Alex Tettey and Graham Dorrans underlined the depth at City's disposal.
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'With Alex, in terms of sitting midfielders, because he is that strong and covers so much ground it allows us to go with jut one of those type of players,' said Neil. 'He can sometimes allow Jonny or Graham to push higher up depending on who we play in that area.
'If you look at the Everton cup tie, we played with two sitting midfielders and that gives the lads in front of them more space to move right across the width of the pitch, so we have plenty of options.'