Norwich City boss Alex Neil is out to avoid a fresh case of away day blues
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Alex Neil is confident the Canaries will banish any demons from one of his worst days as Norwich City boss when they hit the road again at Nottingham Forest.
City return to the Midlands this weekend for their first Championship away test since a painful 3-0 defeat at Birmingham prior to the international break.
Norwich have ground out two home league wins over Cardiff and Wigan Athletic, but Neil knows his men must deliver at the City Ground.
'I wouldn't suggest that is the norm,' he said. 'What you have to bear in mind was that was the first time I have lost in the Championship away from home. It was a poor defeat. We played poorly on the day. The selection I picked we went really aggressive to try and win it and that backfired so that is something I will certainly be looking at.
'You have to earn the right in this division. You are going to have to do that every game in the Championship and battle and scrap to win your tackles and headers.'
Neil is under no illusions the Reds will be desperate to claim the scalp of one of the promotion favourites.
'Listen, teams will raise their game when we go to their place. If you want to call yourself a Premier League team or a Premier League player because you played in the Premier League then you have to produce,' he said. 'Birmingham did the other side of the game better than us, they fought harder, they won their tackles and headers better than us and we didn't use the ball anywhere near well enough. Their whole gameplan was to work from the front, sit behind the ball and break on us and it worked that day.'
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Norwich head to Forest buoyed by back-to-back wins, although Neil admitted the Canaries had to ride their luck at times with Timm Klose fortunate to escape conceding a first-half penalty after tangling with Will Grigg.
Latics' chief Gary Caldwell was adamant his side were on the end of a poor decision at Carrow Road, and Neil had plenty of sympathy.
'I thought it was a penalty. I would agree with him,' he said. 'Timm doesn't read the ball down the channel and Grigg does him when he cuts back inside. If I was him I would be looking for that. Decisions go for and against you over the course of a season and what tends to happen is when we were down the bottom end of the Premier League last season a lot of the big decisions didn't go your way. Perhaps it is simply a case of the teams at the top are in your half more than the other way around.'
Jacob Murphy was again a stand-out performer for Norwich with a two-goal salvo underling his growing importance to the cause.
'Every time he has been available he has been on my team sheet,' said Neil. 'That is from him performing well and he has done the same again to score two goals. I have spoken a lot about him this week and it is all credit to him that he is in the goals.'