Norwich City urged to adopt Premier League survival blueprint by LMA chairman Howard Wilkinson
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Norwich City must forget about trying to upset the big boys and focus on beating the lesser lights if they want to extend their Premier League stay.
The Canaries caused a string of upsets during their recent three-year stint in the top flight. But as they prepare to make an immediate return among the elite on Saturday against Crystal Palace, City have been told they must realise the importance of clashes against teams around them.
League Managers' Association chairman Howard Wilkinson said: 'I remember talking to Alan Curbishley one pre-season at Charlton and he said: 'I've looked at all the fixtures Howard and we've got 25 games where I can realistically expect to get a result'.
'That's the trick for owners, chairmen, chief executives – whoever the manager may report to – to master. They need to agree with the manager a sensible idea about what might be achieved. You've got to be able to negotiate that and Alan did.'
Alex Neil heads into the big time having yet to lose back-to-back games in charge of the yellows. While the LMA chief admits that impressive record is under threat following promotion, he remains insistant that the 34-year-old needs to be backed by all at Carrow Road.
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Wilkinson added: 'Alex needs to be supported and allowed to get down to work without the constant fear of losing his job if he loses a few games on the bounce.
'Once you've gone past Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea, and whichever two or three others are going to be up there, it's a really hard job just to survive.'
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