Norwich City playing for high stakes ahead of new multi-billion Premier League deal
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Alex Neil knows the stakes could not be higher in Norwich City's Premier League relegation tussle ahead of a new £8bn broadcast deal.
The Scot is focused on matters on the pitch ahead of Saturday's trip to Crystal Palace, with the Canaries looking to pull further clear of the bottom three, but Neil is under no illusions what his club is playing for if they can survive over the coming weeks.
From next season, the 20 Premier League teams will share a reported £8.3bn combined broadcast deal to televise the richest league in the world.
'It is crazy because of the money that is going to come into the Premier League next year and everyone rightly wants to be a part of that,' said Neil. 'We have showed we are up for the fight and we'll do everything it takes. We just want to make sure we are in the Premier League next year and we can then hopefully look to become better and move on up.'
Norwich have claimed seven points from their last nine, either side of the international break, but Neil insists there has been no radical upturn in form compared to a long winless run in the early part of 2016.
'I wouldn't say they were any better performances than how we were playing five or six games ago,' he said. 'We played better against Leicester than we did against Manchester City or West Brom. We just managed to get the edge or we were solid when we needed to. We haven't done wholesale changes or looked to radically change how we function. It is about playing well, getting a bit of confidence and the players believing in themselves. I think we are certainly tighter at the back but perhaps we have been more creative in the past, certainly at the start of the season we were creating more opportunities but left ourselves a little bit more exposed and were getting punished. When you start to win games it binds people even closer.'
City edged a five-goal thriller against Newcastle and Neil was always confident Norwich's revival would not be hindered by a two-week international lay-off.
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'Last year we had a break of a week and a half leading up to the play-off final after beating Ipswich in the semi-finals, where we had good momentum, and we managed to lift it for that game,' he said. 'It was probably untimely, but if it gets the players' refreshed and get their minds off the task for a little bit it can be a good thing.'