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Norwich boss Alex Neil knows Watford game could be key

Published 04/12/2015

Alex Neil's side are three points above the relegation zone
Alex Neil's side are three points above the relegation zone

Norwich manager Alex Neil knows his side must get something out of games against teams like Watford if they are to stand any chance of remaining in the Barclays Premier League.

The Canaries head to Vicarage Road in a positive mindset following the 1-1 draw at home to Arsenal last Sunday, which kept them three points clear of the dropzone.

However, after taking on Watford, Neil's men will face Everton at home and Manchester United away before tackling Tottenham at White Hart Lane on Boxing Day.

The Hornets were promoted as runners-up to Bournemouth, while Norwich won the Sky Bet Championship play-off final at Wembley.

Neil understands all too well the need to take a result from the game against Quique Sanchez Flores' well-organised team, who have adapted well on their return to the top flight and have won three of their last five.

"We are looking to try to win the game, as we are every week, but I think against the likes of Watford the possibility of winning the game is much higher," Neil said on Norwich City TV.

"We want to approach the game in that fashion and hopefully we can come away with the points.

"The performances haven't been reflected in the points that we have got, but ultimately it is about us making sure that we get those points, and Saturday is a great opportunity for us to do that.

"We are coming into a run of fixtures, so we need to make sure that we are highly competitive."

Watford forwards Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney were both on target in the 3-2 victory at Aston Villa.

Neil said: " We know the threat that Watford pose, and we will make sure we are set up to combat that, but also to have a threat going the other way.

"In recent weeks, we have been gradually improving. On Sunday (against Arsenal), we put a really good performance in.

"Every game we play is going to be an opportunity for us to put points on the board to get as far away from the bottom of the table as we can."

Norwich striker Lewis Grabban was handed a surprise start against Arsenal and made the most of it with a neat finish to net his first Premier League goal.

Cameron Jerome and Dieumerci Mbokani, on loan from Dynamo Kiev, have both been utilised as the main target man this season.

Middlesbrough are said to be ready to launch an £8million January bid for Jerome, whose 20 goals helped the Canaries secure promotion, including one at Wembley against the Teesiders.

Neil, though, has no intentions of allowing the 29-year-old former Stoke forward to leave.

"I am surprised. I haven't heard anything about that," the Norwich manager said.

"Cameron is an important part of our squad and we are not looking to let our better players leave, so that is the situation just now."

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