Time for Norwich City to deliver a signal of intent in Premier League survival quest

Cameron Jerome scored in Norwich City's 2-1 Premier League defeat at Manchester City. Picture by Pau

Cameron Jerome scored in Norwich City's 2-1 Premier League defeat at Manchester City. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City's Premier League fate will not hinge on Manchester City's visit to Carrow Road but Alex Neil is urging the Canaries to send a signal to their relegation rivals.

City welcome both Sunderland and Rafa Benitez's Newcastle to Carrow Road over the run-in, along with games against Crystal Palace and West Brom, but the Scot knows the value of a positive result against Manuel Pellegrini's title-challengers.

'We are really determined to get something and we have done it against the big teams,' said Neil. 'The strange thing for us, and the most frustrating thing, is we have performed against the better teams. When the pressure is on us a little more to beat the lesser teams we have not really performed as well as we could. Earlier in the season we beat Sunderland and Bournemouth comfortably but when we went to Bournemouth, and Swansea last weekend to a certain extent, we didn't play anywhere near our capacity. I have spoken about the clutch of games coming up after this one because they are teams in and around us. What I meant by that is if they beat you it really is the six point swing, whereas in this game we play one of the top teams. They are a really top side, it will be a difficult match, no doubt about that but we aim to put in a good performance and more importantly a result.'

Neil is drawing on Norwich's battling late 2-1 defeat in the reverse league fixture rather than Manchester City's FA Cup third round cruise earlier this year.

'We don't read quite as much into the home game because we made a few changes and that was really as much about keeping guys ticking over and getting them ready and also having a look at them with a view to the league games,' he said. 'In the away game I thought we were disciplined, we went with a specific plan, we looked to counter-attack and if it wasn't for loose marking on a corner and a late mistake from us we might have gone away with a really positive result at a difficult place. We can take heart from that and look to replicate that. When you go away you need to make sure the top sides are not going to steamroller you, because they are capable and they have done that for a number of seasons.'