Crying and whinging? No chance insists Alex Neil ahead of Norwich City’s derby trip to Ipswich
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Alex Neil promises there will be no hard luck stories if Norwich City fail to seal a Premier League return through the play-offs.
City head to East Anglian rivals Ipswich this weekend in a Championship semi-final, first leg duel after finishing three places and eight points clear of the Blues.
The Scot, however, is confident there will be no hangover from missing out on automatic promotion to the Premier League behind champions Bournemouth and Watford.
'If you don't do enough to finish in those top two then you are in the play-offs. We knew that at the start of the season,' he said. 'If Ipswich beat us over two legs they deserve to go through. I don't understand why there is any suggestion us finishing third and them finishing sixth is an issue. Ultimately it boils down to these two games. If we finished 100 points ahead of them or one point it made absolutely no difference.
'They want it as much as us because we both want to get to the Premier League, it is as simple as that. Not only that, pride is at stake when it comes to the fans and also the players. I don't for one second buy into the fact they are going into this game feeling they have nothing to lose. Their fans and players want it just as badly.'
Neil guided Hamilton to a surprise play-off success last season, but the City boss believes that is where the parallels end.
'What's at stake is a lot different than it was at Hamilton but ultimately it's about getting a team up from one division to the next,' he said. 'Obviously that was a two-legged final and here it is Wembley, which is a special place if we could get there. The fact it is Ipswich makes it a bigger story for both sets of fans because there is no bigger game than facing your closest rivals.'