Alex Neil unfazed by the spectre of a Norwich City penalty shoot-out against Ipswich
- Credit: PA
Norwich City boss Alex Neil is not afraid of a dreaded penalty shoot-out to settle Saturday's Championship play-off semi-final, second leg against Ipswich Town.
Neil knows it could go all the way to pens after the neighbours slugged out a 1-1 Portman Road first leg draw, but the Scot revealed on Wednesday he brought a faultless sudden-death record south from Hamilton.
'My penalty record as a manager is pretty good,' he said. 'We had Hibs at Hibs in the play-off final last season, which we never missed a penalty and won, and then we had Motherwell, which was our local derby, in the cup and we never missed a penalty and won. I am hoping that can continue.
'I reminded the lads on Tuesday. I told them no-one in my teams has ever missed a penalty in the shoot-out, so no pressure. We're hoping it doesn't get to that stage and we can do a job before then. However, if it gets to that I am confident in my players and also my goalkeeper to keep the ball out of the net.
'We do practice penalties from time to time if we have small-sided games, we might finish off with penalties, but I wouldn't say it was something we do regularly. I don't think you can re-create the pressure, certainly not on the training pitch, when you are going to have 27,000 in the stadium.'
Neil wants City to carry on where they left off after finishing the first leg on the front foot.
'I think it will start at a high tempo, but our pitch is wider than the one at Ipswich so hopefully we can imprint our way and style on them,' he said. 'You saw the intensity drop significantly in the closing stages. That was the reason I brought Wes (Hoolahan) on for the last 20 minutes because the tempo slowed down and I felt he had a good impact on the game. That was the stage where I felt we really controlled it and got our foot on the ball.'
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