Going top of the table will not distract Norwich City boss Alex Neil at this stage of the season

Robbie Brady could return from concussion for Norwich at Fulham tonight. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Fo

Robbie Brady could return from concussion for Norwich at Fulham tonight. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Alex Neil will not be letting his players get carried away with hitting top spot so early in the season.

The Canaries head to Craven Cottage tonight not only in search of a first win at Fulham in 30 years but to also maintain their one-point lead at the top at the Championship summit.

Few of City's squad will need reminding that there are still 34 games left to play yet however, as several players were part of the team which went top under Neil Adams in the autumn of 2014, before slumping to mid-table.

'I find it funny that somehow we manage to spin being top of the league as some sort of negative, because I'm pretty sure if you asked the team bottom of the league where they want to be they would say being top of the league is a great thing,' Neil said.

'The one thing I will say is it doesn't matter at the moment, so I don't think it's a big difference.


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'If you're getting to the second half of the season and that's why I make a big deal of after Christmas, because that's crunch time and the games become six-pointers because if you can win and the opposition lose, you start to run out of games and you have to make sure you stay within touching distance of them.

'At this stage it's so far from the end of the season that you just want to keep churning the points out, get them on the board so when it does come to that crunch period to give ourselves that buffer, so that if we lose a game unfortunately or we don't play as well as we should, the next week isn't a be-all-and-end-all game.'

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The Scot is hoping to pick up some more of those points tonight and is looking forward to a different kind of challenge against the Cottagers, having battled several stubborn, defensive sides in the early stages of the campaign.

The west Londoners have picked up an impressive 12 points from their opening six games but just five from their six home games, as manager Slavisa Jokanovic tries to recreate the recipe which saw him lead Watford to automatic promotion in 2015.

'Fulham I think have got the second best possession in the league so far this season (averaging 57.3pc per game), so they like to have the ball,' he continued.

'I think there's a pressure on you at home to be really expansive and to go and open up, and a lot of teams are set up to counter-attack.

'I think that's one of our issues at home, is the counter-attack. I watched their Bristol City game, which was 4-0 and Bristol just sat behind the ball, broke on them and won 4-0. So away from home that pressure to control the game and be expansive is less and that may be why they've picked up more points.'

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