Norwich City midfielder Nathan Redmond delivers the perfect response to Alex Neil
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Alex Neil challenged Nathan Redmond to step up and prove his class to bolster Norwich City's Championship promotion bid.
Redmond has responded to a spell out of the side last month with vital interventions over the run-in, capped by key roles in all three of the Canaries' second-half goals to beat Ipswich and seal a Wembley date against Middlesbrough.
'His levels had dipped, which I think he himself would admit to,' said Neil. 'But we have been doing a lot of work on his quality and his movement, in terms of coming off the line and making sure he is not just operating as an out-and-out winger, because the one thing he needed to add to his game was assists and goals and he had that in this game here.
'It just shows the hard work has been paying off but, to be fair, he has to be the one who goes and does it and there is no doubt he is a terrific talent. When he is in that mode and his game becomes more rounded, as I can see happening, there is more to come.'
Seb Bassong is another who has responded to Neil's urgings with a powerful display against the Blues.
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'Seb was strong and stood up to the challenge, but I thought the whole team did as well,' said Neil. 'I felt we were in control of the tie throughout and I was completely confident in the players. I fully expected us to go through.
'I think we make a good combination, in terms of me coming up with the plan and them executing it, but this is a collective effort, not one person. There are a lot of people the majority don't see and they never get any pats on the back.'
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Neil was delighted with his squad's bravery to try and force the issue after a first-half deadlock at Carrow Road.
'Some people made individual errors at times but when you go out there on that stage, with what is at stake, you are going to have to risk the ball to gain an advantage,' he said. 'It is not just about banging it forward, you might have to risk it in dangerous areas. Look at the turning point, Ipswich tried to play forward, Steven Whittaker nicked it and we went and hurt them in the transition. That can be the difference between success and failure.'