Alex Neil is out to prove Chris Hughton right at Norwich City
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City boss Alex Neil is desperate to prove Chris Hughton right after revealing he got a glowing reference from the Brighton manager standing in the way of his old club's Championship promotion ambitions.
Neil knows it is vital to beat the Seagulls on the south coast on Good Friday to step up their charge for a Premier League return, and the Scot insists Hughton's presence in the opposite dugout is a mere sideshow.
'It doesn't add anything to me. I don't know him personally, albeit he did ring me when I first got the job to wish me all the best which was nice,' said Neil. 'I haven't heard anything bar good things about Chris from people at Norwich.
'He called to wish me all the best and said I had taken over a fantastic football club and he hoped I did well.
'There is always that mutual respect between managers and the fact I am so young and coming into a job of this stature he let me know a few things about the club and he only had good things to say.
'Obviously we'll probably have a chat but I will be doing my very best to beat him, as I am sure he will be with us. You would have to ask Chris if what happened adds anything else for him. For me and the squad our sole focus is on trying to get three points.'
Neil has dismissed any lingering benefits from Hughton's inside knowledge of his squad following a 22-month stint at Carrow Road.
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'I think the way we play or want to play most teams will know all about that,' said Neil. 'However knowing something is coming and then trying to stop it is two different things. It is more a case of our players playing within the structure we provide them.'