No scars for Norwich City as they prepare to re-visit Manchester City crime scene

Steven Whittaker is one of the Norwich City players with mixed memories of trips to Manchester City.

Steven Whittaker is one of the Norwich City players with mixed memories of trips to Manchester City. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Alex Neil is confident there will be no scar tissue from his Norwich City players who suffered a 7-0 humiliation on their last visit to Manchester City as they prepare to re-visit the crime scene.

Neil's squad retains eight survivors from that pummelling two years ago this weekend, but the Scot insists they can rise to the challenge.

'The lads have to go with the belief if they perform and stick to the plan there is always going to be an opportunity for us to get something or even win. If they don't believe that then you are beaten before you even go there, which we can't allow to happen,' said Neil. 'We have to make sure we go and approach it in the right way. The game previous to that one they won 3-2, so if you want to flag up statistics then you can swing them any way you like. There is another group of guys, or even the same group to a large degree, in our dressing room who have won at the Etihad.

'It is about performance. In the 3-2 game they obviously performed well, in the 7-0 they clearly didn't so it boils down to this day and what they can do in this 90 minutes. It is a one-off game, this is a one-off game. If we perform really well and they under-perform there is no reason why we can't get something out of it, but we're going to have to perform at our maximum.'

City face Arsenal and Chelsea as well as the title favourites all within the next month and Neil knows his side must pick up points.

'I think this run of games is seen by many outside the club, and even the fans to a certain extent, as games where there isn't the expectation,' he said. 'Or perhaps there isn't as much as against clubs who are deemed to be in and around us if you like, but we need to realise there are points up for grabs. We have to be as competitive as we can because this is a really important spell for us.'