Back the boys and forget the barracking is Alex Neil’s Norwich City fan appeal

Norwich City's fans must play their part for Alex Neil. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City's fans must play their part for Alex Neil. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Much has been made of the Carrow Road crowd factor, but Alex Neil wants Norwich City's support to be a force for good.

Neil is appealing for voluminous backing for his own men rather than barracking towards their East Anglian rivals.

'Be vocal and back our boys,' he said. 'If people want to talk about a hostile atmosphere I want that in terms of backing our team, not hostile in terms of shouting abuse at the opposition. What we are looking for is more support for our team, rather than trying to abuse the opposition. That is certainly not the case.

'I was signing a few autographs for Ipswich fans before the last game and the ones behind them were booing me. That's how it is. It is that pantomime, villain sort of thing but I think these games have been played in the right spirit, although we are both determined to beat each other.'

Neil also knows the importance of riding out the uncomfortable moments in the second leg.


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'The game is over 90 minutes, plus. That is the most important thing for everyone to remember,' he said. 'If it takes us to the 93rd minute to get a goal or the first minute it doesn't really matter. It is all about the bigger picture. If we fall behind in the game I would fully expect the fans to back my players and probably even more so because that is when they will need your support to make sure we go for it.'

Neil revealed earlier in the week he had a faultless penalty shoot-out record in his managerial career at Hamilton - including a play-off final win - and City will be prepared for the worst case scenario.

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'You must be ready for every eventuality and penalties is obviously an outcome that could happen,' he said. 'We've done a wee bit of work on it this week, but not a lot of focus. I don't think you can re-create the atmosphere or the pressure in training. Penalties are a confidence thing in the moment.

'When you have played 120 minutes, your legs are heavy, the keeper become a monster and the football a beach ball. Sometimes that is the way it can feel.

'It really will be determined by who is confident on the day and who is on the pitch at the time because if you think about it 120 minutes will have had to be played by then and the starting line up may look considerably different by the end.

'Once the guys have put themselves forward and are confident then I will decide in what order they are taken.'

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