‘Let’s see what you are made of’ - Alex Neil challenges his Norwich City squad ahead of Millwall test
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Alex Neil is never slow to tell his Norwich City players when they have slipped below his exacting standards, but the Canaries' manager does not expect any repeat of a sluggish Wigan offering at Millwall.
Neil memorably laid it on the line after the only other defeat of his tenure against Brentford, and the Scot expects the perfect response to fresh disappointment.
'They know my feelings. We didn't perform. That is the bottom line but let's not get too carried away,' he said. 'If we win I don't high five them and tell them how great they are, it is a case of, 'Job done and move on'. We have picked the bones out of Wigan and let's get a good response.
'The pride will be hurting of the players, mine was hurting after Wigan, and generally when that happens you get a strong response. We are disappointed in ourselves more than anything else. There is no point in feeling sorry for ourselves. We let ourselves down and the fans so we are frustrated and not happy and we will look to bounce back.
'It is all about character now and making sure you make up for the one that has past.'
Millwall occupy in the same precarious territory as Wigan below the relegation line but Neil rules out any lingering advantage from Norwich's 6-1 Boxing Day romp.
'It doesn't have any bearing for me. We beat Wolves here recently after losing at their place, for instance, and that is the thing about this league,' he said. 'You see it happen every season at this stage where the teams at the bottom find a resurgence from somewhere and they know they need to fight for their lives.
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'At this level you can play at the weekend and then a few days later and experience two completely different games. You saw that against Wigan. We didn't do enough to win the game. That is what it boils down to, regardless of how the opposition set up, how they played or any time-wasting, it doesn't really make any difference. We have to do our job and we weren't at our best. I told the lads before that game if we don't give it everything and hit those levels it probably won't be enough and it wasn't.'