Team news: Ryan Bennett doubtful for Norwich City's clash with Manchester United
PUBLISHED: 14:31 06 May 2016 | UPDATED: 14:31 06 May 2016
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Norwich City manager Alex Neil will make a late decision on the fitness of central defender Ryan Bennett ahead of tomorrow's lunchtime clash with Manchester United.
The crunch Carrow Road game, kicking off at 12.45pm for coverage on BT Sport, offers the Canaries an opportunity to climb back out of the Premier League relegation zone.
Victory over fifth-placed United, who are still chasing Champions League qualification, would lift City above Newcastle into 17th place ahead of the Magpies’ match at Aston Villa and Sunderland’s home clash with Chelsea at 3pm.
Bennett missed the narrow 1-0 loss at Arsenal last weekend due to illness and is still a doubt for the clash with Louis van Gaal’s side.
“Ryan’s still struggling at the moment so I’m not quite sure how he’s going to be,” said Neil.
“He trained for one day at the end of last week and we hoped he was going to be available for the Arsenal match, but he took a turn for the worse.
“We’ll need to wait and see. It will be a real last-minute call, it will be determined by how Ryan is feeling and how he feels he can approach the game if he can.”
With fellow defenders Timm Klose and Andre Wisdom ruled out for the rest of the season due to knee injuries, alongside midfielder Alex Tettey who is also unavailable due to an ankle injury, City’s squad is being tested to the limit.
Neil appreciates he is running out of time to save his team’s top-flight season but sees tomorrow’s game as an opportunity, in front of the Carrow Road faithful.
“Like I’ve said before, we need to win games to make sure we stay at this level,” Neil continued, on the Norwich City club website.
“It comes no bigger than this, it really is crunch time now. There is no room for excuses, we’ve got to go out and do the job.
“The players know exactly where we are. They gave it their best efforts against Arsenal, and I expect exactly the same this weekend.”
The Scot felt his team’s performance at the Emirates Stadium was among their best away from home this season.
“I’ve watched it back and I think away from home against the bigger teams, it was probably our best performance even though we didn’t get anything,” he added.
“I think we probably played better in that game than we did against Manchester United when we won (2-1). They are the fine margins at this level.
“We need to take that kind of performance into this game. If we can do that, then it gives us a great chance.”