Championship can be a dangerous place, says Norwich City boss

Grant Ward battles with Wes Hoolahan during the derby clash at Portman Road. Picture: Steve Waller

Grant Ward battles with Wes Hoolahan during the derby clash at Portman Road. Picture: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Alex Neil has warned his players against becoming sitting targets in the Championship.

Relegation to the second tier means the Canaries will be in the sight lines of the division's sharp-shooters who like nothing more than claiming a 'big scalp'.

Neil knows teams will raise their game against his troops – he speaks from experience.

'When teams do play us they are going to raise their game, as I expect they will against Newcastle and Aston Villa,' said the City boss.

'They deem it to be a scalp. As a player, who played against bigger clubs, you go to a ground and you really want to perform and find that little bit extra five or 10pc because you know the quality of player you are playing against you are going to have to produce it. That is going to be a regular occurrence for us, but what we have to do is play as well as we can.'

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City felt the force of derby rivals Ipswich's tactics on Sunday when the hosts – particularly striker Daryl Murphy – tried to outmuscle his men.

'We didn't draw the game because of how well Ipswich played, we drew because we didn't play as well as we can,' added Neil, who takes his team to Birmingham tomorrow looking to extend their unbeaten start to the new season.

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The failure to handle Murphy annoyed Neil.

'It lasted for 20 minutes and then I had veins popping out of my neck and screaming and shouting at players on the pitch to basically get their finger out and they did and once they did we were fine. They should have been doing that from the start. We had no issues then. The players we have got and the level they are at, they are clever enough to know when they have made a bad decision or not played well.'

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