More ‘robust’ Norwich City travel to Cardiff looking to improve poor away record

Norwich City's new Dutch signings, Mitchell Dijks, left, and Yanic Wildschut. Picture: DENISE BRADLE

Norwich City's new Dutch signings, Mitchell Dijks, left, and Yanic Wildschut. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Only six teams have picked up fewer points away from home than Norwich City so far this season – and manager Alex Neil knows that record has to be improved to salvage any kind of promotion challenge.

Youssouf Mulumbu is available again for Norwich after returning from the African Cup of Nations. Pic

Youssouf Mulumbu is available again for Norwich after returning from the African Cup of Nations. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Three successive home victories have pulled the Canaries back into play-off contention in the Championship but bringing an end to an eight-game winless streak on the road has become a clear priority ahead of today's trip to Cardiff.

'I think when you're maybe not playing well, away form stands out even more, so we certainly need to improve that,' Neil said.

'We need to make sure we pick up points on the road and I think being more robust will certainly help.'

The height and strength of new signings Mitchell Dijks and Yanic Wildschut are key to Neil's plans for making his team physically stronger and better suited to the rigours of the Championship.

Alex Neil is looking to build on last weekend's 2-0 win over Birmingham City.

Alex Neil is looking to build on last weekend's 2-0 win over Birmingham City. - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd


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'We had a few different objectives that we needed to try and meet over the course of the transfer window,' City's boss continued, as he plotted to close the gap to the top six.

'We needed to try and generate some money first and foremost, which we did, I think we needed to add a bit of power and size to the squad, which we did, and we needed to freshen things up a little bit – and I think all those three things have been ticked off.'

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There is more to the Dutch duo than size and strength though, with Wildschut in particular having impressed Neil, persuading him to pay £7million to Wigan for the 25-year-old winger's services.

'He had a 30-minute cameo against us and he caused us real problems,' the Scot said, reflecting on September's 2-1 win over the Latics at Carrow Road.

Steven Naismith is an injury doubt for Norwich City's match at Cardiff City.
Picture by Paul Cheste

Steven Naismith is an injury doubt for Norwich City's match at Cardiff City. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

'I watched him against Huddersfield as well this season and he tore Huddersfield to shreds so we know what he's capable of.

'He's a wide player, one of those players who on his day can be devastating and win you games and we just need to try and get him into games as often as we can.

'The thing for Yanic now is he's at the stage now where he's 25 and he's one that you're hoping can put his game together now in terms of having an affect on most matches.

'Obviously in those positions in particular we're quite young and we need a proven performer who can come in and help us.'

Nelson Oliveira is available again after serving a three-game ban. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus

Nelson Oliveira is available again after serving a three-game ban. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

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