Alex Neil press conference ‘We go into the Newcastle match with belief’
Alex Neil says that hard work has got his players back into a position where they can compete for a play-off spot.
Currently in seventh place, two points behind sixth placed Sheffield Wednesday, Norwich City have run into form with 16 points from a possible 21 since the turn of the year.
This followed a dramatic collapse of only four wins in 14 matches after they lost to Newcastle at St James Park at the end of September.
Norwich opened the season looking like promotion favourites and had gone into the game at Newcastle four points ahead of the Magpies.
Alex Neil says that ‘Fans just want to see the team play well and win’ but I think the bottom line is just to get out of this league by whatever means possible.
Newcastle have now won 11 of their 15 away matches and Wolves was very typical, Rafa Benitez relying on a very tight and disciplined defensive display, then take any chance that comes the way of Newcastle.
The 11 wins have featured eight clean sheets amongst them – tactics that might not score highly for their entertainment content but very definitely a case of simply counting the points.
Newcastle have picked up a massive 34 points away from home, this compares to Brighton 26, Huddersfield 23, Reading 23 and Leeds 22.
With games coming in quick succession Alex Neil says he is waiting to see how some of his players come out of the weekend’s win v Forest.
At Rafa Benitez’ press conference today, he didn’t let on as to whether any injuries were picked up at Wolves but he did confirm that Dwight Gayle was back in the squad, the striker of course scoring a hat-trick in that 4-3 win over Norwich earlier this season.
“It’s been about hard work to get ourselves back into it. We’ve got talented players. That’s how we’ve picked points up.
“I don’t think anything is impossible if we go on a run. Fans just want to see the team play well and win.
“We treat every game in isolation. We’re in good form and go into the (Newcastle) match with belief
“We won 5-1 on Saturday (v Forest) but that game is gone. We move onto the next one, which is going to be tough but we want to win.
“The players are feeling confident. They’re in a good place, believe in what they’re doing and are in good shape collectively.
“We know the importance of the games at the moment. There’s got to be a real determination and a focus. We want three points.
“We’ve got a couple of bumps and bruises. We’ll have a few late calls because there’s been a high volume of games.
“Alex Tettey is available and will be in the squad. Youssouf Mulumbu has performed well for us since coming back to the club.
“This Championship campaign is unforgiving. We want to focus on what we’re good at and how we’re going to approach the game.
“We’ll go to try and win the game. We want to impose our style of play upon them. A win would grow the players’ confidence more.”
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