Premier League survival remains the goal for Norwich City’s Anthony Pilkington
There will be no taking eyes off this season's primary aim for Norwich City according to Anthony Pilkington – even if Premier League survival is inching closer for the flying Canaries.
Paul Lambert's men are already within one point of their total for the entire 2004-05 campaign that ultimately saw them relegated from the top flight, and eight short of the widely regarded safety mark that 40 points would bring – all with 14 games still to go.
It is a similar position for Saturday's hosts, Swansea City – last season Norwich's Championship rivals; this term mirroring efforts at Carrow Road, if just two points behind the Canaries.
Last week Swans' winger Scott Sinclair declared the Welsh side should switch their attentions to securing a top 10 finish on their top-flight return – but you won't catch such public sentiments in this part of the world.
'No, we always had a plan at the start of the season to survive and we are not looking away from that because if you take your eye off it, then maybe you'll start doing things you are not supposed to do,' said Pilkington.
'So it is always about surviving this season and then next season building on it. It is a lovely gap but we are not going to get carried away. We know what a difficult league it is and it's the best league in the world – anything can happen.
'You have seen Martin O'Neill go to Sunderland and turn them around. They have come from nowhere, so you can never take your foot off the gas in this league and that is what we are not going to do.'
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Norwich and Swansea meet at the Liberty Stadium this weekend – a venue Norwich have both appeared and lost twice at, including last season's 3-0 reverse in April as both sides gunned for automatic promotion to the Premier League.
In the end it was Norwich who won that battle, as well as the October fixture at Carrow Road – where victory was sealed thanks to two goals from Pilkington. The winger bagged number six of the campaign to secure a fifth home win of the season over relegation-threatened Bolton on Saturday. And Pilkington was happy to admit three points at Carrow Road means they can treat their trip to Wales as a way of grabbing another bonus point or three in the quest to maintain their Premier League status for a second season.
'It is such a difficult league and you need to have great home form if you want to stay in the league – and we have done that this season, so any points we can pick up on the road is going to be a bonus,' said Pilkington.
'It is going to be a really tough game on Saturday but we like playing against Swansea and we will go there with a game plan and do exactly what we did at home. I got two goals then, so hopefully we can get another two on Saturday and get the win.'