Sport Soccer

Sunday 11 December 2016

Alex Neil urges Norwich to ignore Arsenal protests

Published 29/04/2016 | 15:56

Norwich boss Alex Neil goes in search of three points at Arsenal on Saturday
Norwich boss Alex Neil goes in search of three points at Arsenal on Saturday

Alex Neil has called on Norwich to concentrate on the job in hand when they head to Arsenal on Saturday.

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Disgruntled Gunners supporters' groups are planning to protest for change at the club during the home clash with the Canaries.

Black Scarf Movement, RedAction and the Arsenal Supporters Trust want fans to raise placards reading: "Time for change. Arsenal is stale, fresh approach needed."

But against that backdrop Norwich are desperate for points to stave off relegation, having slipped into the bottom three following the 3-0 defeat by fellow strugglers Sunderland a fortnight ago.

"You can look at it in two ways," Canaries boss Neil said at his pre-match press conference. "Is it a good time to play them because there is going to be a protest? Or are the players going to give the reaction that they expect?

"The bottom line is we have to go there with the intention of bringing something back, be it three points, which would be great, or a point. Whatever the case may be.

"We just want to go there and play as well as we can, and if we do that then we have a chance against them."

Norwich picked up a creditable 1-1 draw against the Gunners in the reverse fixture at Carrow Road in November.

Neil is hoping that performance, plus some of their other big-game displays this season, will spur them on to pick up a positive result.

"I think it can," he added. "Our problem has been consistency levels. We went to Manchester United and put in a wonderful performance and managed to be the first team to beat them at Old Trafford this season.

"So we are capable, it's just whether we can go there and deliver on the day, and I'm confident we can.

"We've shown this season we can go to big places and perform well. We've got a lot to fall back on performance-wise, we know what we've got to do.

"We've got points to pick up between now and the end of the season. Out of these four remaining games we've got to win some, and if we don't then it's not going to be enough."

Norwich captain Russell Martin should return to the squad after missing out against Sunderland due to a virus.

However, fellow defenders Timm Klose and Andre Wisdom have been ruled out of the Canaries' remaining fixtures with knee ligament damage.

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