No slacking for Norwich City on Alex Neil’s watch, pledges Seb Bassong

Sebastien Bassong is one of only two Premier League ever-presents for Norwich City. Picture by Paul

Sebastien Bassong is one of only two Premier League ever-presents for Norwich City. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Seb Bassong admits the fear of a spell on the Premier League sidelines is driving Norwich City's squad to please Alex Neil.

Bassong and Robbie Brady are the only ever-presents in the top flight this season for the Canaries, but the defender is taking nothing for granted ahead of the Boxing Day trip to former club Tottenham.

The 29-year-old was impressively resolute in City's famous 2-1 win at Manchester United that provided the perfect pre-festive tonic.

'You have to fight for your place every week. You can't fall asleep. No-one is guaranteed to play if you don't satisfy this manager,' he said. 'If you keep winning that gives a manager more of a problem to pick a team.

'He is still young enough that he knows what it was like to be a player. He understands our mindset and what we feel, so there is nothing we can get away with. That is a good and a bad thing, we can't trick him, but he is a really passionate guy.

'We had to learn how to take it the right way. You can talk to him about anything and he is not scared to give you an honest answer. You see him on the touchline and he is aggressive and some people can mix that up, but he is passionate. He has his own philosophy of football.'

Bassong insists City's squad can handle the tough times in the Premier League after picking up only a second league win in 12 games at Old Trafford.

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'We have to stick together,' he said. 'A team like us has to be 100pc all the time with a pretty strong bond between each other to face the kind of moments when the results are not quite what we expected.

'We knew that throughout the season we might have to face this kind of spell so we were ready for it. The manager is always telling us to keep believing and keep working. We were in the Championship for one year, not seven in a row, so we know what the Premier League is all about.'