Norwich City’s Nathan Redmond is desperate to avoid play-off heartache again
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Nathan Redmond is determined to avoid fresh Championship play-off heartbreak with Norwich City this season.
The England Under-21s starlet lost out at the semi-final stage with Birmingham at the end of his first full season as a professional in 2012, when Chris Hughton's Blues were beaten by Blackpool 3-2 on aggregate.
Redmond and the rest of Alex Neil's City squad will discover their play-off opponents following Saturday's league finale against Fulham before the countdown begins to two high stakes tussles.
'It's like knockout football isn't it? It's like FA Cup games, or two legs in the League Cup,' he said. 'You've only got two games to get it right and you can't really take any chances and mistakes have to be at a minimum.
'We came up against a very tough Blackpool side, but the experience I gained from it I couldn't ask for any more. I was 17, 18. I was playing with the big boys, just coming through and playing for my hometown club so it was one of those where maybe the occasion may have got the best of me at the time. I've got enough experience under my belt to hopefully deal with it this time around.'
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Redmond insists Norwich City's squad have the staying power to take the long road to the Premier League.
City missed out to Watford and Bournemouth in the race for the top two but the Canaries' midfielder feels they have already proved their top flight credentials.
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'There are three places in the Premier League up for grabs, and whether you go first, second or third, you're all going to get there. So if we have to go up through the play-offs, then so be it,' he said. 'You look at the fact we beat Watford away at their place. We absolutely battered them and after that, they didn't lose a game and essentially it looks like they're going to win the league. It's just how the games have panned out.
'We were smashing the league at one point, at the start of the season, when we were winning game after game. Then we had a little dip where we couldn't win for a run of, I think, about 10 games, and we were getting draws and stuff like that.
'It's sunk into the boys now that this is where we are at, so we've got to deal with it.'
Redmond knows the importance of a positive outing against Fulham.
'We're going to treat it as if it was five games ago, or 10 games ago, and we want to go and win it. That's been the main aim this week,' he said. 'It's one of those games where we know we've got our play-off position secured, but we want to win it and I'm sure the line-up that's put out there will be strong enough to do that. The gaffer is going to have his team and how he wants to set up, how he wants to go about trying to win the game, so the team playing, the seven lads on the bench and all the squad involved will be pulling together to try to get that win.'