Norwich City boss Alex Neil is not banking on Sheffield Wednesday rolling over

Norwich manager Alex Neil is not expecting Sheffield Wednesday to roll over. Picture by Paul Chester

Norwich manager Alex Neil is not expecting Sheffield Wednesday to roll over. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Alex Neil insists it would be an affront to Sheffield Wednesday's professionalism to expect the Owls to roll over rather than try and halt Norwich City's quest for Championship progress.

City's need for league points to keep pace with their promotion rivals is undoubtedly greater, but Neil does not subscribe to the theory Stuart Gray's men could down tools after effectively securing their league status for another season.

'No, I don't think any professional players would do that,' he said. 'Yes, you see games when you don't play as well or do thing as capably as you can, and maybe at times the appetite for the game is not perhaps what you would expect it to be. We just have to prepare for Sheffield Wednesday at their best. That is exactly how I will go about it.

'The players have been told, 'Just give me all you have got now, in terms of 100pc effort and do your very best'. Form will go up and down. I don't think some of the lads were necessarily at their best (against Brighton) but they all worked their socks off and at this stage of the season that can be enough.'

Neil was prepared to concede an extra day's rest for his side over this Easter period could be a more tangible factor in Norwich's favour.

'I hope so. Any advantage we can get, we'll take. I'm hoping they are really tired and we are at our best,' he said. 'I think the fact they have a day's less rest doesn't help them but they will still come to our place wanting to win the game. It is about how we approach it and how well we play that will decide it.

'They are not too dissimilar to Brighton in the sense they are well-organised and they don't concede a lot of goals.

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'I wouldn't say they score a great deal either, so we have to move the ball quickly and with quality and if we do that we can open them up and hurt them.

'By the same token we have to make sure we don't get done on the counter-attack. I think that is probably how the game will pan out.'

City were hugely impressive last time out at Carrow Road against in-form Nottingham Forest and Neil is striving for that high watermark.

'I would be very happy if I got that performance,' he said. 'We showed against Derby and Forest that when top teams sit in we can still break them down and pick them off and we have managed to do that away as well.

'I think the group is completely focused and momentum is taking us on, to the extent that regardless who we are playing we have more than enough.

'In these tight games when there is not much between the sides on the day it is about someone who can come up with something special, it is about being disciplined and cool under pressure and continuing to probe and stick to the plan, when you might feel you have to go gung ho.

'Attacking-wise at Brighton there was more to come from us, but you also have to make sure you don't concede goals.'