Norwich City out to make fans proud ahead of Ipswich Town tussle
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Alex Neil is pledging Norwich City will make the fans proud against bitter rivals Ipswich Town.
The Canaries know what is at stake as they look to extend their unbeaten run to eight games in Sunday's latest cross-border duel. City slipped up at Burton to lose ground in the Championship play-off race but Neil views Town's visit as the perfect remedy.
'We don't take lightly what it means to the fans. We are certainly focused on making sure our supporters go home happy and they have the bragging rights,' he said. 'The weight of the game is the most important thing. The lads know what is required. The fans have been great of late. They turned out in big numbers at Burton. They were really vocal, they supported the players and when it went to 1-1 they were tremendous and unfortunately we couldn't repay their support and go on and win the game. If they support the team as well as they have done at home that helps the players and gives us a better opportunity to win.
'I don't agree with anyone who says this is a bad time to play Ipswich, coming off the back of Burton. I think this is the best game for us. The next one after a defeat you need to make sure the players are not flat and they are up for it and no other game in this league has the same meaning.'
Neil insists City can maintain their recent derby hoodoo.
'It is difficult to say why we have had such a good run of things in the past six or seven games,' he said. 'Derbies are matches separate from any other because of what it means for the fans. The play-off win (in 2015) was significant for a number of reasons but that has gone. Time moves on. This will be significant for different reasons. For me, it is more enjoyable than anything else when you are on the touchline in these games. Everybody loves derby day, providing you win the game, and we have a pretty good record. There is nothing to be frightened off. We are confident.'
The City boss is ruling out any hangover from a Brewers' loss.
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'There is no question when we are at it, when we are on song we are one of the best teams in this league,' he said. 'The difficulty we have found this year is going to the smaller places, where we need to turn it on there and we have not been able to do it on a few occasions. I don't expect any of that on Sunday.
'It is mindset as much as anything else. We get the goal back and all we are focused on is getting the next one. What you also have to realise is you are playing decent teams and not to switch off when you attacking in terms of what you are doing without the ball. We got done with a counter and that is where we let ourselves down.'