Alex Neil tells his Norwich City players to forget derby dominance over Ipswich Town
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Alex Neil will tell his Norwich City players to forget about the Canaries' derby dominance and prepare for a cracking cup-tie at Portman Road in Saturday's Championship play-off semi-final, first leg.
City completed their second consecutive league double over the Blues earlier this season under Neil's command, with Bradley Johnson and Lewis Grabban on target in a 2-0 Carrow Road win.
The Canaries' finished three places and eight points clear of their bitter rivals but Neil's focus is on the latest cross-border mission.
'It is a level playing field. I don't think previous league results will have any impact,' he said. 'It is that unique a game, a high-pressure environment, it is very different to a league game, it is more like a cup tie feel. We know what we have to do. Play-off games are not the type of scenario where if you drop points you can recover them later. It is one of those where if you do fall short that is the end of it. We've already checked the previous play-offs at this level and there are no trends. It doesn't matter whether you finished third, fourth, fifth or sixth. There is no real correlation. What you generally find is the best teams get there in the end. We are confident in any one game, or two legs or even a third in a final that if we play to our full potential we are capable of beating anybody, but the other three teams will feel exactly the same. You have to have that confidence as a player or a manager.'
Neil is also playing down any potential advantage from a second leg return at Carrow Road.
'Yes, the balance we have got away from home is perfect so far because we haven't lost since I have been in,' he said. 'But we are going to have to be good in both legs, it makes absolutely no difference.'
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