Norwich City look to deliver the first blow in Premier League relegation battle

Olivier Giroud sets up Arsenal's winner in a 1-0 Premier League victory against Norwich City. Pictur

Olivier Giroud sets up Arsenal's winner in a 1-0 Premier League victory against Norwich City. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Alex Neil knows Norwich City must strike the first blow in their Premier League relegation battle by beating Manchester United.

City were forced to wait while rivals Sunderland and Newcastle picked up points prior to last weekend's 1-0 defeat at Arsenal, but the roles are reversed on Saturday with the FA Cup finalists visiting Carrow Road for the lunchtime kick-off. A win would move Norwich out of the bottom three prior to Sunderland's home clash against Chelsea and Newcastle's trip to Aston Villa later in the day.

'If we win, then they obviously know what they have to do, if we don't they will try to take advantage,' said Neil. 'We we're hoping of course they would lose before we played and it will be the same after we play this weekend. We have to win games. Regardless of what the others do we have a job to do. It really won't make any difference. I don't see either winning all their games. It is hard to say how many points we need. Newcastle is a different kettle of fish, because they only have two games left, but I think it is unlikely Sunderland can win the last three games because they haven't put that type of run together all season. We have to put as many points on the board as we can.'

Norwich had their chances to beat the Gunners, as they looked to bounce back from a 3-0 defeat to the Black Cats, but Neil is adamant City can still finish with a flourish.

'To say they have the impetus and we don't is something I don't agree with,' he said. 'They scored a 94th minute penalty (at Stoke), they didn't steamroller Stoke. Newcastle were 1-0 up and Crystal Palace missed a penalty. I say it all the time, the game at this level is defined by fine margins. That is certainly the case in these final three games. Our challenge is to find ourselves the right side of those margins and if we do we have a good chance.'