Alex Neil urges Norwich City to go to the well one last time at Burton
©Focus Images Limited www.focus-images.co.uk +447814 482222
Alex Neil is urging his depleted Norwich City squad for 'one last push' ahead of the Canaries' first-ever trip to Burton's Pirelli Stadium, before they gear up for a Championship derby against Ipswich Town.
Neil delivered a gloomy injury bulletin on Friday afternoon with key men like Ivo Pinto, Steven Naismith and Nelson Oliveria all ruled out for a seventh game in 21 days.
Norwich need a win to keep the pressure on the top six after losing ground in midweek with a 2-2 draw against leaders Newcastle United.
“What we have spoken about to the lads is Burton will require an almighty effort from us,” said Neil. “It really is a case of going out to make sure we get these three points and then we will tone it down for them. It is one last push because this is probably the most hectic period over the course of the season. Particularly the magnitude of the games and some of the opposition we have faced. We have come through it really well and we need one last push. Then we can look after them and get them back to full fitness.
“We have seven or eight days before Ipswich. That makes a big difference because the training schedule for the past two weeks has been minimal to none. At times we are just bringing them in and hoping they recover quickly enough to go again. The one thing we have got with a large squad is we can freshen things up and that has helped us on this run but I can’t do that at the moment because half of the squad is on the treatment table.”
Neil also revealed the odds are against his side with Nigel Clough’s relegation-threatened Burton having a full week to prepare.
“There is a ridiculous statistic where if you have played and the opposition haven’t played during the week your chance of winning is reduced by a third, which is quite significant,” he said. “Equally. we feel if we go there and play well we win the game. We need to be mentally and physically ready to win the game. It is the same as Reading, Cardiff, Rotherham if you are not up for it and ready to go you will have a problem.
“It can prove a difficult place to go. Determination, will and hard work go a long way. We have to match that and then bring out our quality. It is going to be a tough game.
“We are going to face a team who will rely on home form to get points to stay in this division. That breeds a siege mentality. The fans will be close to the pitch, they will be up for it and the players will give everything they have got because one of the bigger teams in this league are coming to their stadium for the first time ever. They will be well up for it and ready. Nigel will have them prepared. We know what is coming, we have discussed that.”