Neil making no excuses in Norwich survival fight

Date published: Friday 4th March 2016 2:22

Alex Neil: Urged Norwich City players to ignore protest at Arsenal

Alex Neil will not be blaming referees or ruing the results of other teams if Norwich City fail to win enough games to stay in the Premier League.

The Canaries head to Swansea City this weekend having slipped down into the relegation zone on goal difference following a 2-1 home defeat by Chelsea.

While Norwich fans can lament some misfortune again on Tuesday night when Diego Costa netted what proved to be a crucial second goal in first-half stoppage time despite being offside, Neil insists his only focus is getting the best from the players over their final 10 matches.

“I am a big believer in that you make your own luck. I am not sitting here saying we would not be in this position if were not for the (refereeing) decisions – we are in this position because we have not won enough games, it is as simple as that,” said Neil, who confirmed key midfielder Alex Tettey was set for ankle surgery which is likely to rule him out for the rest of the season.

“In recent weeks we have been performing well, and if you keep doing that and making chances, then the results should follow.”

Norwich are six points behind the Swans, who recorded a surprise 2-1 win at third-placed Arsenal on Wednesday.

Neil, though, has no interest in putting his team’s fate in anyone else’s hands.

“We need to win games to save ourselves, we can’t rely on other people, so I am not thinking why did Arsenal not win?” he said.

“It is not up to Arsenal to do us any favours. It is up to us.

“If we win games, then we give ourselves a chance, but if we don’t win games, then it is not because of anybody else’s fault, it is because of our own.”

The Norwich boss added: “The one strength we have as a club is that everybody is stuck together and is fighting really hard – you see no dissent, the lads are fighting for the cause and there are no issues within the squad whatsoever.”

Tettey was forced off during the first half against Chelsea, and following an MRI scan on the ankle, Neil confirmed the Norway international would need surgery.

“It is not good, obviously,” the manager said. “But we have strength in depth in that area and it will give someone else an opportunity to come in and hopefully do a job for us.”

Robbie Brady lost teeth in a clash of heads with Gary O’Neil, who was left with a deep gash, during the Chelsea match, but both are expected to be available at the Liberty Stadium, along with forward Steven Naismith and on-loan Chelsea striker Patrick Bamford, who was ineligible to face his parent club.

Neil said: “Robbie’s mouth was a bit of a mess after the challenge, so he has had a wee bit of dentistry work to try and fix that. Gary has a two-inch gash on his head, but it is more cosmetic than anything else.”

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