Norwich City ready to scrap for their Championship lives

Youssouf Mulumbu added some ballast to Norwich City's midfield at Derby County. Picture: Paul Cheste

Youssouf Mulumbu added some ballast to Norwich City's midfield at Derby County. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Time to get down and dirty to haul Norwich City out of a Championship mess.

Alex Neil will demand the same bite from his side against Brentford at Carrow Road on Saturday they showed at Derby, despite falling to a fifth straight league defeat. Youssouf Mulumbu returned alongside Alex Tettey to form a combative central midfield in the East Midlands.

'To be fair to Youssouf he has not done anything in two months so it just shows you how exposed we were,' said Neil. 'He trained a week and he ran himself into the ground. Alex was struggling on injured, Cameron Jerome had not really trained for the previous two days so we are not having the best of times in that sense. I have never used that as an excuse and I won't do now because I think I have a big enough squad at this level to win games.

'I thought the intensity in the first-half and even at stages in the second-half, when they scored people might have thought we would give up with the run we are on and we had to make quite a few changes but I thought the boys rallied.

'The lads who came in equipped themselves really well. They worked their socks off. I can't fault them for effort. All I ask is they do their best.'

Neil made it clear at last week's annual meeting City's slump is not down to any sense of entitlement from his pre-season promotion favourites.

'That was the attitude I felt was here when I first came down. The one thing I quickly made the players aware of is don't think you are Premier League players. You are in the Championship,' he said. 'If you want to get back you need to be prepared to scrap and fight and do all the ugly bits. We are going to have to be prepared to do the hard graft and the extra leg work. Quality does not get you there on its own.

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'It is something we have discussed at length because it is not a conscious decision to take your foot off the gas. Complacency sets in, when you win seven out of eight. It is not that simple to say we should just turn up.'