Alex Neil wants to see a fast start from his Norwich City players at Fulham

Norwich City manager Alex Neil. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City manager Alex Neil. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Scoring the first goal is likely to be crucial to Norwich City's hopes of ending their 30-year wait for a win at Fulham this evening.

The Cottagers are yet to score a goal in the opening 30 minutes of a Championship match this season, whereas as league leaders City have managed 10.

'In terms of their record, conceding the first goal has been a bit of an issue for them so we want to make sure we start well, get into our swing of play, make sure we impose ourselves on them and if we get the first goal make sure we capitalise on that,' Canaries boss Alex Neil said.

'We've got a real good record, something like 36 games, that when we score first we've not lost. So that's an incredible record and most of them are in the Premier League.'

Robbie Brady is set to return after missing City's 3-1 win over Rotherham at Carrow Road on Saturday as he continued to recover from concussion but Jonny Howson's ankle knock is still being assessed.


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One player who has boosted his chances of being involved is Steven Naismith.

The Scottish forward scored the final goal against the Millers, after coming on as a 78th-minute substitute

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'It will really depend on how well Steven is playing, how well other players are playing and if I think he's best suited to the game,' Neil said of the £8million January signing's latest situation.

'But Steven came on and did himself no harm at all at the weekend when he came on and had a good impact on the game, got his goal and he also got his goal the last time he played against Everton as well.

'He trains hard every day, Steven, he's a good lad and he's in the squad as always.'

Tonight's match also pits City against former striker Chris Martin, who scored his first Fulham goal in Saturday's 4-2 win at Barnsley.

The Beccles-born target man, who scored 34 goals in 117 games for the Canaries after progressing from the academy, is currently on loan at Craven Cottage.

The 27-year-old's strengths are well known to Neil and, in particular, his Scotland and former City team-mate Russell Martin.

'I think you're wary of every striking combination you come up against for a variety of different reasons,' Neil added.

'Chris has got his own strengths, we faced him the last time when he was at Derby, the game was one each on the day but we really should have won the game because we were a lot better on the day.

'We know what Chris brings and it's up to us make sure that we stop that and have our own attacking threat at the top end of the pitch to try and cause them problems.'

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