No time to dwell on Championship disappointment insists Norwich City boss Alex Neil

Norwich manager Alex Neil wants to serve up a positive display against Fulham for the home fans. Pic

Norwich manager Alex Neil wants to serve up a positive display against Fulham for the home fans. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

The disappointment cut deep after Norwich City missed out on the Championship's top two but Alex Neil is confident the Canaries are ready to embark on a new front in their Premier League bid.

Fulham's visit to Carrow Road may resemble the warm-up act to pending play-off semi-final battles, but that message jars with a character like Neil.

'I will pick the team I feel is best suited to win the game to get that winning momentum going into the play-offs,' he said. 'It certainly won't be a weakened team, it will be lads who have been playing. They should be focused because if they don't perform against Fulham they may find they won't be playing against whoever we draw. That is not even worth talking about because it won't happen. They will be ready and want to put on a good performance. It is the last league game of the season and the fans deserve us to go out and give it everything we have got, like in every game.

'If you look at Fulham they've got a lot of technical players, and are very good middle-to-front, so we're going to have our work cut out.

'We are disappointed not to get their automatically but that is now done. It makes us even more determined to go up through the play-offs, and the first challenge is Fulham.'


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The Cottagers accompanied Norwich out of the Premier League 12 months ago and their lowly league finish underlines City's relative success in launching a concerted push for an instant top flight return.

'The one thing when you come down from a higher league it is difficult to change that feeling about how you go about your business and Cardiff and Fulham are examples of that,' said Neil. 'I don't think there is any question there was disappointment that we didn't do quite enough to get in the top two.

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'The one thing I would say though is it wasn't because of what happened with Lewis (Grabban) at Rotherham, or the 21-odd games since I came in, you have to look right across the whole season, the previous manager and his staff, me any my staff and all the players as a whole.

'Fair play to Watford and Bournemouth, if you are in those spots at this stage of the season you are the best two teams.

'To say we have not got momentum is silly. If you look at the last two games individually there are reasons for what happened. We didn't start well against Middlesbrough, they sat behind the ball and we didn't break them down and at Rotherham, we lose a striker after 25 minutes yet performed really well.'

Neil revealed his preparations for the next phase in the campaign will begin in earnest once City's play-off opponent has been revealed.

'I'll be in on Sunday for about 8am,' he said. 'Where we finish now is out of our control because if Middlesbrough win they finish third. We'll deal with that when it comes.'

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