Norwich City boss Alex Neil pleased to have avoided ‘big boys’ in opening Premier League fixtures

Alex Neil is in bullish mood. Picture: PAUL CHESTERTON/FOCUS IMAGES

Alex Neil is in bullish mood. Picture: PAUL CHESTERTON/FOCUS IMAGES - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Alex Neil feels Norwich City can hit the ground running by not playing the top-flight's biggest clubs early in the season.

The Canaries' Premier League return gets under way with matches against Crystal Palace, at home on Saturday, August 8, Sunderland, Stoke and Southampton. It's not until the Championship play-off final winner's 11th match of the term that they play a side, Manchester City away, who finished in the top four last term.

And a confident Neil is hoping the yellows can take full advantage of their far from daunting start following promotion.

He said: 'We haven't got any of the 'big boys', if you like, in the first few games. Obviously you want to start the season and try to get points on the board as early as you can.

'Certainly looking at the fixtures it gives us a good opportunity to do that, but as we know every game at this level will be tough. When Alan Pardew went in there (Crystal Palace) he turned their fortunes around and they had a really strong second half of the season. We know it's going to be a difficult game but hopefully we can take the momentum from last season into it.'

Some supporters are already fearing a tough run-in that sees Norwich end their campaign with matches against big-hitters Arsenal, Manchester United and Everton on the final day. Yet Neil is keeping calm abouut what could be a pivotal end to the term.

'You're going to have to face those teams at some stage, whether it's at the start or whether it's at the end. To be honest, it doesn't really matter,' Neil also told his club's official website. 'I wouldn't say that there is one period I look at and think 'that's a concern', even though if you're not performing well in the Premier League then it's all going to be a concern.

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'If you're doing your job properly, you're prepared and you're functioning well, then any game is winnable. We've just got to go into any game full of confidence and try to do as best we can. We're really looking forward to it, and hopefully we can get off to a good start.'

Click here to see Norwich City's full fixture list for the 2015/16 season.