Neil prepares Norwich for play-offs as door opens for Bournemouth

The Norwich boss is not relying on any Bournemouth slip-ups and claims his team have 'momentum' going into the play-offs.

Saturday's 1-1 draw at Rotherham was a case of two precious points dropped in pursuit of the two automatic promotion places in the Sky Bet Championship.

With Norwich on an impressive run of 12 wins from the previous 15 games, before last weekend's crunch encounter with Middlesbrough, it appeared that the Canaries had peaked at the perfect time.

But a 1-0 home defeat was followed by a late goal conceded to relegation-haunted Rotherham, and now Neil has admitted that the play-offs look the most likely route to the Barclays Premier League, with Bournemouth facing Bolton at home on Monday night knowing a win will secure the second automatic spot.

Speaking to the Norfolk Eastern Daily Press, a charitable Neil said: “If Bournemouth don’t happen to win the game then it gives us another opportunity. If they do then good luck to them.

"They deserve to be where they are. It won’t be difficult to lift my players at all because if we weren’t going to get into the automatic spots then we have to go the play-off route. That looks to be where we are going to end up."

If the league table stays as it is, with Norwich playing Fulham in their final game on Saturday, the Canaries will play local rivals Ipswich in a two-legged play-off semi-final, but Neil is confident that he is prepared and his team have impetus at the right time.

Neil said: “I haven’t given Ipswich any thought. Obviously I have run through the various scenarios if we were to go the play-offs. That is where my focus will be after the Fulham game, if it’s where we end up.

"I will always back the character of my players because on our day we are as good as anybody in this league, We want to beat Fulham at home and then take that momentum into the play-offs.”

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch