Norwich boss Neil expects Chelsea revival

Date published: Friday 20th November 2015 3:13

Alex Neil of Norwich City

Norwich manager Alex Neil has no doubt Chelsea will come good sooner rather than later, but has every intention of heaping more pressure on Jose Mourinho with a positive result at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues host the Canaries with Mourinho back in the dugout following his stadium ban, but remaining under scrutiny after defeat at Stoke before the international break left the champions down in 16th spot.

Norwich head to west London one point and a place above Chelsea after a much-needed victory against Swansea last time out.

While Neil feels a long-overdue Barclays Premier League win for Chelsea will not be long in coming, the Scot hopes his well-organised side can extend the wait for at least another week.

“Everybody is thinking why has it happened, but with the quality they have got, Chelsea are capable of turning it around,” Neil said at a press conference.

“They were the top team in the country last year, but we just have to hope that slump continues so we can get something out of the match.

“The capability of what they have as a squad is really high, it is no secret they have not been hitting those capabilities this year.

“However, we have to make sure we are at our best, to play as well as we can and if we do that, then we have a chance.

“We have to make it as difficult as we can for them and try to implement our style on the game, to test them and see how they respond.”

Norwich expect winger Nathan Redmond to shake off the thigh problem which saw him withdraw from international duty with the England under-21s.

Neil set his side up somewhat defensively at Manchester City, where the visitors almost secured a creditable point but for a late penalty from Yaya Toure.

The Canaries’ boss, though, refuted suggestions he would look to ‘park the bus’ at Stamford Bridge.

“The fact I went that way against Manchester City does not have any bearing on the Chelsea match tactically in setting the team up,” he said.

“Our focus will be getting the best out of what we have got in the squad, not them.

“They have got quality internationals all over their squad, so sometimes when you are playing the bigger teams away from home, you have to find a different dynamic which gives us an advantage.

“That does not mean we sit everyone behind the ball, but we have to have some kind of game plan which gives us the best chance of getting something.”

Northern Ireland forward Kyle Lafferty was one of several Norwich players away over the international break.

Neil, however, has ruled out allowing the striker to leave ahead of the Football League’s emergency loan deadline following an enquiry from Leeds.

“I told (Leeds manager) Steve (Evans) that Kyle is not going,” he said.

“There will be no more players going out on loan or leaving the club in any shape or form until January. We can sit down and look at it then.

“Kyle knows the situation. I have spoken to him on numerous occasions and he is fully aware of the situation he is in at the moment.

“He was on the bench in the last game (against Swansea), so that hasn’t changed.”

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