Norwich City defender Martin Olsson gets Alex Neil’s seal of approval

Martin Olsson is back in favour in Norwich City's Premier League starting line up. Picture by Paul C

Martin Olsson is back in favour in Norwich City's Premier League starting line up. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City defender Martin Olsson is fit and firing and back in favour with Alex Neil.

The Swedish international is set for a key role against Sunderland this weekend after emerging as the Canaries' unlikely match-winner last time out at home to Newcastle United with a stoppage time strike. Olsson has started the Canaries' last four matches after a frustrating season disrupted by summer shoulder surgery and a struggle to recapture the form that saw him star in the club's Championship promotion success.

'I think people sometimes assume managers always have favourites but the honest truth is you go with the guys who do the business every weekend. It doesn't matter about the individual name,' said Neil. 'He has been excellent Martin. His pre-season was disrupted with his shoulder and when we got him back I didn't think his form was as good as Martin is capable of. He came in and out of the team a little bit but in recent weeks his form and his performances have been excellent and he did the same when he went away with Sweden recently. He got man-of-the-match for them.'

Neil revealed he had to make a tough early-season choice between Olsson and Republic of Ireland international Robbie Brady down the left flank.

'Robbie played left-back at the start and was particularly good for us,' said Neil. 'We shifted him up one for maybe the best part of six or seven games and I didn't think his form was as good so I had a decision to make then and I moved him back, which cost Martin his place. Both of them at this moment in time are comfortable in the situation they find themselves.'

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Neil knows the duo will be vital ahead of another crunch clash on home soil after slipping at Crystal Palace.

'We have beaten the other teams in the main around us at home so we know what it takes,' he said.

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'It is only natural that teams down the bottom end struggle a bit more away from home. We wouldn't be alone in that fact.'

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