Alex Neil wants Norwich City players to focus on promotion and forget any Leeds bad blood
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Alex Neil is warning his Norwich City squad to focus on Championship promotion on Tuesday night and forget about the last controversial meeting against Leeds United.
City's 1-1 league draw at Carrow Road in October was marred by racist allegations following a confrontation between Whites' defender Giuseppe Bellusci and Norwich striker Cameron Jerome.
Referee Mark Clattenburg halted the action in the first-half to speak to both managers, but an FA independent regulatory commission later delivered a 'not proven' verdict against the Italian defender.
Neil has been fully briefed on the incident and predicts a hot reception for his side at Elland Road against a club that has proved a fertile recruiting ground, with Jonny Howson, Bradley Johnson, Luciano Becchio and Robert Snodgrass all making the move from Yorkshire.
'I am well aware of everything that happened in the game at Carrow Road but that is history. It is in the past. We need to focus on this game, not the one at Carrow Road,' said Neil. 'Leeds is never an easy place to play and I think the fact there is a history between the clubs will add a wee bit of extra spice.
'Leeds is one of those away grounds where the fans will back them if they are doing well. I wouldn't say it is an intimidating place but we have to start at a high tempo, put them on the back foot, and quieten the crowd. We aim to be the dominant side and that is what we'll set out to do. They have a good home record, like Bolton did, with good energy and legs in the team and a lot of youth throughout their squad as well. It will be similar to Bolton. They will be at it and we have to try and be at our best.'
Whites' counterpart Neil Redfearn believes the clubs have moved on from the FA racism probe into the early-season incident.
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'No. That issue got resolved. Both parties seemed happy enough and it got settled,' claimed the Leeds' head coach on Monday. 'The matter is closed. To be fair, we have a real mix of players from overseas with different nationalities and ethnic backgrounds. We are really balanced as a group and are aware of things like this. I'd have thought it wouldn't have been an issue. I think the outcome was what everybody wanted. I think everybody got the right outcome, and I think that's what everybody got.'