Norwich City must guard against complacency at Huddersfield Town
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Alex Neil has already experienced the unpredictable nature of the Championship beast and is confident his team will not be lured into a false sense of security at Huddersfield tonight.
Seven wins in their last nine matches has Neil's Canaries firmly in the mix for automatic promotion to the Premier League –but the pain of a 1-0 home defeat to lowly Wigan almost a fortnight ago will not be forgotten in a hurry.
Huddersfield go into tonight's clash having ended a three-match losing streak with a 1-1 draw at Birmingham on Saturday.
That point leaves Chris Powell's side nine points clear of the drop zone with nine games to play – but City's 33-year-old boss will remain wary of the Terriers.
'I don't think there are any easy ties. Based on Saturday, I thought we probably played better against Derby (1-1) than we did against Ipswich (winning 2-0), so in terms of performance, sometimes the result doesn't match that,' Neil said.
'We'll have to play well against Huddersfield, there's no question about that, and we're going to have to go there and do what we have been doing recently and try and dominate the match and try and go on and score goals.'
The Canaries must also avoid being lulled into a false sense of security by December's 5-0 victory over Huddersfield at Carrow Road during Neil Adams' reign.
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That day the Terriers went down to 10 men in just the 17th minute when Murray Wallace saw red as the last man when trying to halt the rampaging Cameron Jerome.
Nathan Redmond was thrown into the mix at half-time by Adams with the game still at 0-0 – and the winger helped turn that stalemate into a comprehensive triumph.
'I've seen parts of the game but I don't think it's going to have any bearing on the game whatsoever,' Neil said. 'Until they had a man sent off, there wasn't much in the game, so I think that was the turning point in the match.
'You get turning points in a match, whether that's a goal, someone getting sent off, whether it's a missed chances or a mistake, and I certainly think in that game that was a major turning point in the game and obviously we went on to win comfortably.'
The major turning point in Saturday's defeat was John Ruddy's hesitance in spilling Jamie Hanson's corner across his own line, under heavy pressure from Jeff Hendrick, but Neil says his goalkeeper will bounce back.
'I've not even given a second thought to it, John Ruddy's completely fine,' Neil added.
'We spoke to all the players who missed chances as well in the game, that made mistakes in the game, so no, John Ruddy's completely fine.'
• Canaries duo Russell Martin and Steven Whittaker have been named in the latest Scotland squad, for a friendly with Northern Ireland and a Euro 2016 qualifier against Gibraltar.
Follow David Freezer on Twitter @davefreezer.