Clean sheets will be key to Norwich promotion bid, says Neil

Norwich manager Alex Neil

The Norwich boss is pleased with the way his side has set itself up defensively.

Norwich manager Alex NeilNeil says strong defensive displays will be key to mounting a promotion challenge

Norwich City boss Alex Neil has told BBC Radio Norfolk that keeping clean sheets will be the key to his side's bid for promotion to the Premier League.

The Canaries were relegated to the Championship last season after conceding 67 goals, the joint-second most in the top flight.

Norwich manager Alex Neil talks to his players

However, after securing two wins from three, Norwich have enjoyed a good start to life in the second tier and currently sit second in the table after Jonny Howson's goal sealed a 1-0 win over Bristol City on Tuesday.

The encouraging start has also seen them concede just one goal in three games, and Neil believes that clean sheets will provide the vital driving force in any potential promotion challenge.

Steven Naismith of Norwich City celebrates scoring their fourth goal

Speaking after Tuesday's win at Carrow Road, Neil told BBC Radio Norfolk: "I can't really remember too many opportunities for them [Bristol City] to score, if any.

"That's going to be key going forward.

Norwich's Jonny Howson celebrates scoring their first goal

"(A lack of clean sheets) was a criticism of us last season and something we want to try to fix. In the last two games it's been better."

Neil will be hoping his side can once again replicate their defensive solidity this weekend as they prepare to resume their feud with bitter local rivals Ipswich Town on Sunday.

The Canaries are likely to be full of confidence as they head to Suffolk, having not tasted a derby defeat in seven years.

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