Norwich City boss Alex Neil braced for a ‘must-win’ Premier League clash against Aston Villa
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Alex Neil is urging Norwich City's players and fans to embrace the hype ahead of Monday's 'must-win' Premier League collision against relegation rivals Aston Villa.
Villa arrive at Carrow Road rock-bottom and with only one league win all season. Neil warns the Canaries' must prolong the agony to boost their own survival chances.
'They will be approaching it as a must-win and we are desperate to get the three points as well,' he said, with the Canaries looking to respond after a 3-0 Boxing Day defeat at Tottenham. 'We recognise when we play the teams in the bottom half how big they are and Aston Villa is a crucial one. There are games you have to win. I don't think anything is going to be determined on one game, but it makes things look a lot better. The fact we don't pick up points against Tottenham makes Villa a bigger game but I said it last year when we were challenging for promotion this is a snowball effect. Every game becomes bigger so the next one is crucial. 'If you speak about the crowd and how important they are we're the ones that must give them something to shout about so hopefully our performance can get them going.'
Villa have drawn three of their last four league games under new boss Remi Garde but remain nine points from safety.
'I don't think you can underestimate any team in the Premier League,' said Neil. 'If you are in this league you are a good side with good players. I don't believe there are any poor sides in the division. Things like form change and they have picked up some draws recently. Remi Garde might be desperate to prove what he is all about after getting an opportunity to manage in England, I am the same, as is every manager in this league. I think every manager wants to prove the doubters wrong.'