Norwich City chief Alex Neil calls for a united front to swamp Newcastle in a Carrow Road cracker
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City have the boys for the big occasion and Alex Neil is convinced his troops will rise to the challenge on Saturday against Newcastle.
The Canaries' held their nerve to earn promotion from the Championship in thrilling fashion under the Scot but staying in the Premier League will top that achievement.
City can move six points clear of their relegation rivals with a second consecutive league win.
'These games are just as much about mentality as quality,' said Neil. 'If you have got the mental strength and the focus, you are calm under pressure and you can deal with all the things that surround a game of this importance that is a true test of your players. Doing it under pressure is what counts. Since I have been here, just over a year ago, we have played in an unbelievable amount of big games. Go back to last season and the games we had to play just to get up and pretty much every one at this level, certainly down at the bottom end when you are fighting for your lives, they don't come any bigger.
'My job is to make them relaxed and focused. What they can't afford to do is get carried away with the cameras or everyone telling them how big it is and what it means to fans sitting in the stands biting their fingernails. We have to be cool and calm. This for us is absolutely crucial.'
Neil wants a united front at Carrow Road to overwhelm their Premier League relegation rivals.
Neil and his players will do their utmost to deliver on the park but the Scot is demanding City's support tip the balance.
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'Carrow Road is going to have to be rocking to give the boys as much support as we can,' he said. 'At West Brom, I thought they were fantastic, against Manchester City they were excellent as well. We needed them for those last 20 minutes when we were under the cosh a little bit and they rallied us.
'Everyone here is fighting for the same cause. At clubs up and down the country when the going gets tough you can have people turn against each other, people look to point the finger and blame everyone else. We reflected between ourselves, thought about how we could improve and now we are fighting tooth and nail to get ourselves in a better position.'