Alex Neil urges Norwich City to strike the first blow on Premier League rivals

Norwich City can move out of the Premier League relegation zone with a positive result at West Brom.

Norwich City can move out of the Premier League relegation zone with a positive result at West Brom. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Alex Neil is urging Norwich City to turn up the heat on their Premier League relegation rivals ahead of a crucial weekend in the survival battle.

The Canaries face West Brom at the Hawthorns on Saturday knowing a positive result will move them out of the bottom three before Newcastle and Sunderland clash in an epic north-east derby on Sunday. Neil is looking to strike an early psychological blow and pick up a first Premier League win in 11 games.

'I really haven't been paying too much attention to the other teams,' he said. 'The one thing I do focus on is us because if we don't then it doesn't matter what anyone else does. It won't be enough. Regardless of what happens in that game it is still in our hands. We win our games we will be safe. Probably a draw would be the best result in the other game but depending on what happens to us dictates where we go. Whether it is one or three (points) we need to get something from this game, we can't come away empty-handed. If we don't do enough to win we can't lose it. We have a batch of about five games which will be crucial and this is the start. If we come out of this spell with a good number of points and out of the bottom three, then it is in our hands.'

Neil believes it is still possible to drag the likes of Swansea and Crystal Palace firmly into the relegation mire.

'At this moment in time three from four looks more likely but the one thing I would say is the last time Norwich got relegated they were five points clear of the relegation zone with seven games to play and never won another game and went down. It can happen,' he said.

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'Crystal Palace and Swansea are in and around it still. We win, they lose and it can quickly change again because that gap can go down to five points then with eight or so games left.'

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